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Posted By: GlassLove Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 02:12 PM
A few evenings ago I saw an absolutely brilliant piano recital performed by Conrad Tao. The setting was intimate (an auditorium at Calvin College, a distinctly Christian liberal arts university) and the recital was part of the larger Gilmore Festival. I lack the musical vocabulary to provide an informative and responsible review so I won't attempt to.

I do have a question though, and it is directed especially to those of you who regularly perform. Before his performance began, the individual who introduced Tao spoke briefly about him, then led the audience in prayer (apparently a general practice at all performances at Calvin). This prayer included thanking God for Conrad Tao's gifts. As I was sitting in the audience hearing this prayer, I wondered if Tao was informed of the fact that a prayer would be said and the nature of the prayer's content. Would any of you be bothered by someone making such a statement before any of your performances? Would you simply assume that a prayer would be said before a performance at a religious venue?

I live in a fairly conservative predominately Christian environment and while I don't share the political and religious ideologies that characterize my community, I strive to be extremely tolerant. It is not my aim to prevent prayers from being said in public. While I will never perform a piano recital (I am an adult beginner), I CAN imagine other contexts where it would be offensive to me to have my accomplishments described as gifts from God(I am a research scientist). If I were introduced in that manner, I would feel compelled to state otherwise once I took the stage.


Posted By: Andromaque Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 02:42 PM
They are on their turf so they can do things their way. It is not intolerant to pray. He should be aware of where he is and if it offends him (why would it?) he could have withdrawn. I may disagree with the origin of talent but I do not feel that everyone has to share my opinion. Regardless, in that setting I think it would have been inappropriate for him to vocalize his disagreement.
You could argue that may be he was not aware of this "ritual", but he would have only himself and his managers to blame.
On the other hand, who knows. He may share that community's beliefs. The kid as so much talent, I would not be surprised if someone thought there was some divine intervention involved! laugh
Posted By: Gerard12 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 02:49 PM
I do not share (nor hold) many beliefs based on those types of ideologies, either. But I'm not bothered by the notion of public Christian prayer being offered (technically) outside of a house of worship.

I see it as a positive thing. Regardless of my own belief system.

But if a performer were to be against it, and had prior knowledge of this protocol, then I'm sure that he or she could request that it not be done.
Posted By: pianoloverus Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 03:00 PM
I've heard Tao play live twice in NYC and thought he was fantastic. Can you tell us the program?
Posted By: Dave Horne Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 03:19 PM
Would any of you be bothered by someone making such a statement before any of your performances? Would you simply assume that a prayer would be said before a performance at a religious venue?

I would be bothered by it if I were the performer. A moment of silent reflection allowing everyone to say or think whatever to their own personal god\God\gods\Gods would be as far as I would go.
Posted By: Nikolas Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 03:20 PM
I think that I would be fairly offended... Not because of my own personal beliefs, but because:
a. I wasn't asked beforehand.
b. It's no one's business what my beliefs are!
c. It would appear to the public that I'm endorsing the said religion (any religion).
d. It would appear that I had little to do with my ability in performing (composing in my case), while God would appear to have more to do with it!

It's one thing to pray in public, I happen to do it occasionally. It's another thing to place your beliefs in regards to someone else, his gifts, etc... Not nice in my book.

And of course, we're talking about a classical recital/concert in which case the religious venue is being used as a 'cosmic venue' rather than a religious one...
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 03:25 PM
Speaking as an amateur performer, I'd be about 5% uncomfortable and 95% honored and awe-stricken.

But if I were a professional with a reputation, much would depend on whether I'd be told in advance that this was the plan and given an opportunity to have input. Me personally, I would say "please don't," for a couple of reasons: it would feel too grandiose, and I would be concerned that it might make it seem that such spiritual observance reflected my own beliefs -- not involving any antipathy toward it, but just that it's not my beliefs. If I were a professional and they did it without my advance knowledge, I think I'd feel quite taken aback and perhaps thrown-off for the performance.


Nikolas: My goodness!! smile
It looks like I copied off you! grin
Posted By: GlassLove Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 03:29 PM
Gladly.

Bach Concerto in the Italian Style
Tao Three songs (Cocoon, Smoke, and Catharsis)
Chopin Andane Spianato and Grande Polonaise in E flat Major
Liszt Au bord d'une source
Liszt Valee d'Obermann
Liszt Concert Paraphrase on Verdi's Rigoletto
Stravinsky Three Scenes from Petrushka (Russian Dance, In Petrushka's Room, The Shrovetide Fair)

His Encore was Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody # 6.

The Andante movement of the Bach was sublime. I thought his compositions were fascinating, I especially liked Catharsis. His Chopin, in my opinion, was out of this world. As a new pianist, I am learning to listen in a way that I have never done before. I truly understood the notion of color listening to Tao's Chopin. The Liszt pieces were just remarkable. I was expecting him to drop to the floor from exhaustion following those, but in my opinion, the finest treat was yet to come. The Stravinsky was....what can I say, I have exhausted my list of superlatives......I sat in utter disbelief hearing these pieces. I had not heard them before, but his performance was almost magical.
I was expecting an "I'm really tired and need to go to sleep now," kind of encore, but WOW!!! His Hungarian Rhapsody was very impressive.

An interesting note about the recital. Tao broke a piano string, I believe while playing Catharsis. He was so cute about pointing it out to the audience (I hope that you won't miss this note in the Chopin). Fortunately, a very skilled piano technician was at the recital. He fixed the problem in a snap, did a bit of tuning and we were off on the second leg of what I will consider one of the most remarkable musical evenings of my life!!!!! What an absolute talent Conrad Tao is!!!!!
Posted By: nocturne152 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 03:42 PM
I don't have a religion but I am a philosopher/theist and I would take an odd kind of offense to this. Not an atheistic offense as in "There is no God!" but rather "I worked really hard to get here. How about you thank me a little too, eh?" Besides, is this place some sort of campus? Is it a religious program? It's also disrespectful to anyone in the audience with conflicting views.
Posted By: pianoloverus Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 03:45 PM
Originally Posted by GlassLove
Gladly.

Bach Concerto in the Italian Style
Tao Three songs (Cocoon, Smoke, and Catharsis)
Chopin Andane Spianato and Grande Polonaise in E flat Major
Liszt Au bord d'une source
Liszt Valee d'Obermann
Liszt Concert Paraphrase on Verdi's Rigoletto
Stravinsky Three Scenes from Petrushka (Russian Dance, In Petrushka's Room, The Shrovetide Fair)

His Encore was Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody # 6.

He played the same program minus Petrushka at a noontime recital at Rockerfeller Center in NYC around a year ago.
Posted By: rocket88 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 04:48 PM
Originally Posted by lostaccato
It's also disrespectful to anyone in the audience with conflicting views.


With politically correct thinking such as this, the venue would have to clear in advance everything that might be said or done, and clear it with everyone who might attend the event so as to not potentially "offend" someone.

The event was at a Christian college, and they prayed a Christian prayer. Wow.

this:
Quote
They are on their turf so they can do things their way.
Posted By: bennevis Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 05:00 PM
I assume that the pianist had been informed beforehand what was going to happen, and was OK with it (whether he agrees with it or not personally). If he wasn't, he'd have the right to be annoyed and walk off.
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 05:06 PM
Originally Posted by GlassLove
....An interesting note about the recital. Tao broke a piano string....Fortunately, a very skilled piano technician was at the recital. He fixed the problem in a snap....

Y'all know how that's usually done?

They just remove the string -- take it out, throw it away. smile
Posted By: Nikolas Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 05:12 PM
If the broken string is one of the double or triple, I assume... Otherwise it wouldn't solve anything really...
Posted By: nocturne152 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 05:15 PM
Originally Posted by rocket88
Originally Posted by lostaccato
It's also disrespectful to anyone in the audience with conflicting views.


With politically correct thinking such as this, the venue would have to clear in advance everything that might be said or done, and clear it with everyone who might attend the event so as to not potentially "offend" someone.

The event was at a Christian college, and they prayed a Christian prayer. Wow.

this:
Quote
They are on their turf so they can do things their way.


Alright, of course there's nothing wrong with that. I just didn't know whether they were in a secular or religious venue.
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 05:16 PM
Originally Posted by Nikolas
If the broken string is one of the double or triple, I assume....

It usually is! And I'd bet it was.

If it weren't, I don't think it would have been possible for him to do what he did (as described -- i.e. the "in a snap" part).
Posted By: Varcon Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 05:21 PM
Y'all know how that's usually done?

Mark_C I'm sure he removed the string that had broken and tuned the remaining one or two--depending on how the stringing was done--and that would be about it//

It is not unusual for prayers to precede and follow a program on a religious campus. I agree with the one who said something to the effect 'it is their turf' so you respect their customs or don't go. If an atheist goes to a Christian event is he there to disrupt and be offended or because the event he something he wants to experience and the tenets of the church affiliation are inconsequential to him. One doesn't have to be politically correct on their own grounds. My last recital was in a Baptist church and they offered a prayer before and after the program. I'm Catholic but I saw nothing wrong and certainly didn't object.

Whether one feels innate talent is 'natural' or God given is a personal belief. Even if a gift from God the holder of the talent has to work assiduously to develop and maintain it.

Ralph
Posted By: Piano Again Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 05:26 PM
It would bother me but I would just grin and bear it. The people putting on the concert (paying for it, providing the venue, etc.) are the boss. I am not religious but prayers don't necessarily offend me.

Now, if it was something truly immoral and offensive, like praise for the master race or something, I might even get up and walk out if I could. But I've played for some pretty questionable people in the past and even they never did anything like that, so it's an unlikely scenario.
Posted By: beet31425 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 05:31 PM
A prayer to a general "God", a notion which can have many interpretations (including "life force" and even "laws of physics"), wouldn't bother me at all.

A prayer to a more specific God, whether Jesus or Zeus, would bother me a little bit. But probably not too much, and, since this is their turf, I wouldn't let it show.

-J
Posted By: Nikolas Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 05:34 PM
Originally Posted by Varcon
If an atheist goes to a Christian event is he there to disrupt and be offended or because the event he something he wants to experience and the tenets of the church affiliation are inconsequential to him.
True and fair enough, but from the OP it isn't clear if this was a christian event (my guess is that it wasn't), or just the church (?) used as a venue with a piano...

superabimus was premièred in a church, which is all fine and dandy and nobody said anything, but I would certainly feel awkward having composed a work about 'making it' and 'keeping hope' and 'overcoming difficulties' and this being linked to any religion, when it was not conceived as such...

Quote
One doesn't have to be politically correct on their own grounds. My last recital was in a Baptist church and they offered a prayer before and after the program. I'm Catholic but I saw nothing wrong and certainly didn't object.
Political correctness is one of the silliest things imho... It's one thing to be thoughtful of others and another to reach to do that in your own home!

Whether one feels innate talent is 'natural' or God given is a personal belief. Even if a gift from God the holder of the talent has to work assiduously to develop and maintain it.
Posted By: GlassLove Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 05:47 PM
Sorry, I cannot comment on which was broken but I can say with CERTAINTY that it was replaced and that it was somewhere in the treble section. And the masterful technician did in fact do it in a snap!! (during intermission....the door to the stage was opened just once to check on his progress, suggesting to me that he didn't delay the start of the second half by much if any).

I don't think I was terribly clear about what bothered me. Like I said in my earlier post, I am not bothered by public prayer (especially at a religious university). I thought WHAT was said during the prayer could have easily offended someone who has worked so hard to achieve the level of skill that Tao has. Sure, maybe he himself believes God's hand is in his work. I was simply saying that I would want to say something to the contrary were I introduced in that way. So were my piano teacher to say "Oh Christine your playing today was a gift from God," I would most certainly say something along the lines of "No, I just practiced a lot!" Of course the more likely reference to God in my piano lesson would be more along the lines of "Dear God...when will Christine stop playing?" laugh

Have you followed the career of Turkish pianist Fazil Say? He is leaving Turkey because he came out as an atheist and has been suffering since.
Posted By: GlassLove Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 05:51 PM
The event was part of the Gilmore Keyboard Festival (hardly a Christian event). Tao (along with George Li who performed earlier in the week at Devos Hall home of the Grand Rapids Symphony)is a 2012 Gilmore young artist.

Posted By: Mark_C Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 06:16 PM
Originally Posted by GlassLove
Sorry, I cannot comment on which was broken but I can say with CERTAINTY that it was replaced and that it was somewhere in the treble section.....

If so, quite remarkable. smile

Sorry but I'm still doubting it, including because I'm pretty sure he would have needed a pretty specific string, not necessarily the exact one for that note but pretty specific -- and I didn't think technicians went around with those strings.

Sometimes they can sort of "re-tie" the existing broken string, if one part of it retains almost all the length, which is a little different than what you said but close to it -- but I would think that couldn't have been done 'in a snap.'

I do realize of course that what you said may be right. smile

I'm going to ask about this on the Tech portion of the site.
(here's the thread)
Posted By: tomasino Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 06:18 PM
It's their turf, and they do things their way. He should certainly have been told in advance, and not five minutes beforehand, but rather at the signing of the contract, when he could have made a considered choice to bow out, or not--not too likely he's going to refuse to play while standing in the wings, and risk breach of contract issues. But he should have been told in advance--that's all--they needn't have asked for permission.

I am a practitioner of "theapathy"--don't know, don't care. My concern with religion, and it's a serious concern, is in the area of secular politics, where I regard them as any other legitimate political constituency or organization with special interests, and feel they should be treated accordingly.

But on their turf, it's their call.

Tomasino


Posted By: Eglantine Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 07:11 PM
I'd only expect this to happen in a Muslim country, a 'fundamentalist' country.

I've been to many, many music events in religious buildings (mainly churches, but also the chapels of universities or colleges) across Europe - this is often where Baroque music concerts take place - and I have never encountered such a thing. Not even in Turkey (basically Muslim, with religion very much in evidence and minarets on all sides, but a secular state).
Posted By: Dave Horne Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 07:20 PM
Originally Posted by Eglantine
I'd only expect this to happen in a Muslim country, a 'fundamentalist' country.

I've been to many, many music events in religious buildings (mainly churches, but also the chapels of universities or colleges) across Europe - this is often where Baroque music concerts take place - and I have never encountered such a thing. Not even in Turkey (basically Muslim, with religion very much in evidence and minarets on all sides, but a secular state).


The US is pretty much a 'fundamentalist' country, just take a not too close look at American politics. smile

Posted By: BruceD Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 07:42 PM
I guess my biggest personal concern would be living up to the advanced billing that my talent was God-given and the expectations that such a comment could imply. If I were presented as working on my own merits instead of on those bestowed by Him, the audience expectations might be lower and their disappointment less!

Regards,
Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 07:49 PM
Hi Everyone,

I am the technician that Christine is speaking of. smile My family has been servicing the pianos for Calvin College and Seminary since 1926. (3 generations with me.) I've been servicing there full time now for 38 years.

I am required to be on hand for just such emergencies to possibly touch up tunings during intermission if needed, so, I am always there for these kinds of events hiding somewhere... Christine found me though! smile

The piano was a Steinway D. Conrad plays the piano VERY VERY hard. The string that he broke was G#6 in technicians terms. That is, 2 octaves above the G above middle C. So yes, 3 wires are involved there and when one breaks, that means, technically that 2 wires are now out of commission leaving only 1 wire to play on.

He did not take it out the broken wire. Instead, he humorously chose to leave it as it was instead until intermission.

The second intermission began, I walked from the back of the room to the stage. I removed a piece of the broken wire, took it to my car and took the measurements. Steinway's in many cases mark the size of the wire on the plate. They did not mark it on this particular piano so I had to measure the string which I did at my vehicle where I carry all of my piano wire. It was size 15 1/2.

From the time intermission began, to the time I went to my car, retrieved a new wire, went back into the auditorium, removed the broken wires and replaced them with new ones, tuned them up, stretched them up several times tuning them both each time and then touched up a few notes on the piano, it took me exactly 19 minutes.

The reason I know this is because the people from Calvin that were back stage that Christine spoke of, timed me. They told me how long it took me from intermission to completion yesterday while I was there tuning two more D's for another piano rehearsal that evening. The actual event for the two pianos is tomorrow.

This type of thing is very stressful as we have time limits on everything however, when things like this take place, we do what we have to do. So, it took 4 minutes longer than the intermission was... thumb Not to shabby! yippie
Posted By: Kreisler Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 07:49 PM
It wouldn't matter to me.

I think a school like Calvin can run its concerts however it wants.
I think performers are people, too, and are entitled to whatever feelings they may have about the situation.

I think both should know what they're getting into.

On one hand, it would be nice for Calvin to let performers know to expect some kind of religious rite to mark the occasion.

On the other hand, if a performer has strong feelings against a particular religion, then it seems stupid to accept a gig at a strongly religious institution and then be offended by a prayer being read.

In other words, it's a two way street. If a synagogue or mosque (or Jewish or Islamic school) asked me to play a concert, I would definitely ask if there were any religious obligations or rites that would need to be observed.

This brings to mind one of my favorite stories:

I was raised Episcopalian and was used to classical music being a part of the normal church scene.

When I was in high school, some friends invited me to a Baptist revival. I went, not knowing what to expect, but assuming (naively!) that it wouldn't be that much different than the church I was used to.

The Baptist church had a wonderful organ. I asked politely if I could try it out. The music minister said yes. Wanting to choose something appropriate, I played through some Bach - the c minor Toccata, knowing full well that all of Bach's music was dedicated to the glory of God.

After a few minutes, the music minister came up to me and said:

"I'm sorry, you're obviously very talented and have a wonderful gift, but I don't think that kind of music is appropriate for a church."

laugh
Posted By: Carey Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 07:58 PM
Originally Posted by GlassLove
The setting was intimate (an auditorium at Calvin College, a distinctly Christian liberal arts university) and the recital was part of the larger Gilmore Festival.....Before his performance began, the individual who introduced Tao spoke briefly about him, then led the audience in prayer (apparently a general practice at all performances at Calvin). This prayer included thanking God for Conrad Tao's gifts....


This is from the OP's original post. I don't understand what is "unclear" about the setting or situation.

I have a good friend who has been teaching at Calvin College for 35 years. It never occurred to me that pre-performance prayers would be general practice at Calvin - but on the other hand, I'm not in the least bit surprised.

Calvin College is an educational institution of the Christian Reformed Church in North America, and traces its roots back to the Dutch Reformed Church of the Netherlands.

As long as the prayer was cleared with the performer in advance - and he was OK with it - then that's that. Obviously this was the OP's first concert going experience at Calvin. grin
Posted By: Carey Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 08:02 PM
Originally Posted by Jerry Groot RPT
Hi Everyone,

I am the technician that Christine is speaking of. smile My family has been servicing the pianos for Calvin College and Seminary since 1926. (3 generations with me.) I've been servicing there full time now for 38 years.

I am required to be on hand for just such emergencies to possibly touch up tunings during intermission if needed, so, I am always there for these kinds of events hiding somewhere... Christine found me though! smile


ha When the OP mentioned the qualified tech who happened to be at the concert I automatically assumed that it had to be you Jerry !!!!

Posted By: Mark_C Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 08:02 PM
Originally Posted by Jerry Groot RPT
Hi Everyone,

I am the technician that Christine is speaking of. smile

So cool -- one of our own people! smile
How great is that!

Quote
....He did not take it out the broken wire. Instead, he humorously chose to leave it as it was instead until intermission.

The second intermission began, I walked from the back of the room to the stage. I removed a piece of the broken wire, took it to my car and took the measurements. Steinway's in many cases mark the size of the wire on the plate. They did not mark it on this particular piano so I had to measure the string which I did at my vehicle where I carry all of my piano wire. It was size 15 1/2.

From the time intermission began, to the time I went to my car, retrieved a new wire, went back into the auditorium, removed the broken wires and replaced them with new ones, tuned them up, stretched them up several times tuning them both each time and then touched up a few notes on the piano, it took me exactly 19 minutes....

.....wherein I learn that techs do carry wire, and that it can be cut to length. (As I also saw on the other thread!)

But besides that: What threw me was the "in a snap" part. I assumed that meant much quicker than what it was.

Thank you!

And to Christine: You were right! (Of course.) smile
Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 08:11 PM
I thought it was a very clever pun too, saying that he did it in a "snap!" As in, broken wire.... smile
Posted By: The Hound Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 08:15 PM
It's their prerogative at their own venue and event and it's hardly the end of the world, but it would probably irk me a bit if I were him, yeah, knowing how hard it is necessary to work to achieve even my current level at the piano, let alone a concert performer's level. Sure, some people have greater potential than others, but from my personal point of view it seems vacuous to attribute that to one's chosen god, rather than simple genetic luck.

It reminds me of when people thank God for someone surviving some kind of medical malady - they never seem to thank the doctors who studied so hard for years to be able to save lives and who had an actual measurable causal effect on the person's surivival.

In short, I'd deem it very mildly disrepectful, but in a completely non-malicious inadvertent way and I ultimately wouldn't think too much of it.

Originally Posted by Dave Horne


The US is pretty much a 'fundamentalist' country, just take a not too close look at American politics. smile



Indeed. Islam hardly has a monopoly on fundamentalists. The USA certainly appears to have rather more than its fair share.
Posted By: Bech Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 08:23 PM
Kriesler and all,

The minister of music at that baptist church could have said: "I don't think that kind of music is appropriate for THIS church."

Then he would have been right on the money, wouldn't he?

When you EARN IT after thousands of hours of practice it's not exactly god-given, is it?

If all of man's abilities are god-given and he's a sinner from day one--there's not much left, is there?

Ability is earned, no matter what the endeavor, and is something to be proud of.

Bech
Posted By: Damon Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 08:28 PM
Originally Posted by Andromaque
They are on their turf so they can do things their way. It is not intolerant to pray. He should be aware of where he is and if it offends him (why would it?) he could have withdrawn. I may disagree with the origin of talent but I do not feel that everyone has to share my opinion. Regardless, in that setting I think it would have been inappropriate for him to vocalize his disagreement.
You could argue that may be he was not aware of this "ritual", but he would have only himself and his managers to blame.
On the other hand, who knows. He may share that community's beliefs. The kid as so much talent, I would not be surprised if someone thought there was some divine intervention involved! laugh


+1
Posted By: gooddog Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 09:26 PM
Originally Posted by GlassLove
Would any of you be bothered by someone making such a statement before any of your performances? Would you simply assume that a prayer would be said before a performance at a religious venue?

I am not a religious person, nor do I have any religious or cultural connection to Christian beliefs. I would not be at all offended or discomforted by an opening prayer provided:

1. The concert was in a religious venue and I was told about the prayer ahead of time.
2. The service leader was sensitive to my beliefs, feelings and background and did not make assumptions or exclusionary comments that might make me feel uncomfortable or unwelcome.

Edit: Wow, I just noticed this is a very old post. Let's hope it doesn't descend into a flame war.
Posted By: rocket88 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 09:35 PM
Originally Posted by gooddog

Edit: Wow, I just noticed this is a very old post. Let's hope it doesn't descend into a flame war.


Is the time difference between Seattle, and elsewhere, that great? This post was started just a few hours ago. laugh
Posted By: Eglantine Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 10:21 PM
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
Originally Posted by Eglantine
I'd only expect this to happen in a Muslim country, a 'fundamentalist' country.

I've been to many, many music events in religious buildings (mainly churches, but also the chapels of universities or colleges) across Europe - this is often where Baroque music concerts take place - and I have never encountered such a thing. Not even in Turkey (basically Muslim, with religion very much in evidence and minarets on all sides, but a secular state).


The US is pretty much a 'fundamentalist' country, just take a not too close look at American politics. smile



Indeed. You took the words right out of my mouth. grin

It's a common pattern for immigrant communities to be more extreme/fundamentalist/conservative than their communities of origin. When almost an entire country is made up of such immigrant communities, then perhaps this is the inevitable consequence.
Posted By: Dave Horne Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 10:31 PM
A Christian nation ... one nation under God ... in God we trust ...

... all non believers are welcome, nah, just kidding smile

Posted By: gooddog Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 10:32 PM
Originally Posted by rocket88
Originally Posted by gooddog

Edit: Wow, I just noticed this is a very old post. Let's hope it doesn't descend into a flame war.


Is the time difference between Seattle, and elsewhere, that great? This post was started just a few hours ago. laugh
Oh. Long day. I just realized I was looking at the "registered" dates instead of the post dates. I'm so glad it's Friday!
Posted By: stores Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 10:51 PM
Originally Posted by lostaccato
"I worked really hard to get here. How about you thank me a little too, eh?"... It's also disrespectful to anyone in the audience with conflicting views.


First, check your ego at the door. The audience is there already to hear YOU. Everything that is done BEFORE a concert ever takes place (which is more than most think) was done because YOU were going to be playing. Even if you suck...and unless you suck terribly...there will be applause and people will seek you out afterward. Anddd there will be a paycheck waiting for you. Need more thanks?
Secondly, it is not at all disrespectful to anyone with any view, whether in the audience or behind the scenes. People need to get over this kind of thing already for God's sake. It's not as if they're trying to force their beliefs on anyone. Pray to your own god, or sit there silently and kick yourself for not practicing more, but just get over it. I just have had it with those with the whole "philosopher/theist" blah blah who are so "certain" with their "logical" b........ You can't prove God DOESN'T exist anymore than a believer can prove that God DOES exist. Maybe you should just stay home, since after all the concert is taking place on enemy ground.

By the way, I've been to several concerts at Calvin, and have performed there myself twice.
Posted By: wr Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 11:05 PM
Originally Posted by carey
Originally Posted by GlassLove
The setting was intimate (an auditorium at Calvin College, a distinctly Christian liberal arts university) and the recital was part of the larger Gilmore Festival.....Before his performance began, the individual who introduced Tao spoke briefly about him, then led the audience in prayer (apparently a general practice at all performances at Calvin). This prayer included thanking God for Conrad Tao's gifts....


This is from the OP's original post. I don't understand what is "unclear" about the setting or situation.

I have a good friend who has been teaching at Calvin College for 35 years. It never occurred to me that pre-performance prayers would be general practice at Calvin - but on the other hand, I'm not in the least bit surprised.

Calvin College is an educational institution of the Christian Reformed Church in North America, and traces its roots back to the Dutch Reformed Church of the Netherlands.

As long as the prayer was cleared with the performer in advance - and he was OK with it - then that's that. Obviously this was the OP's first concert going experience at Calvin. grin


What's unclear to me is whether the Gilmore festival is a religious one, or is put on by a religious group.

Posted By: The Hound Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 11:35 PM
Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by lostaccato
"I worked really hard to get here. How about you thank me a little too, eh?"... It's also disrespectful to anyone in the audience with conflicting views.


First, check your ego at the door. The audience is there already to hear YOU. Everything that is done BEFORE a concert ever takes place (which is more than most think) was done because YOU were going to be playing. Even if you suck...and unless you suck terribly...there will be applause and people will seek you out afterward. Anddd there will be a paycheck waiting for you. Need more thanks?
Secondly, it is not at all disrespectful to anyone with any view, whether in the audience or behind the scenes. People need to get over this kind of thing already for God's sake. It's not as if they're trying to force their beliefs on anyone. Pray to your own god, or sit there silently and kick yourself for not practicing more, but just get over it. I just have had it with those with the whole "philosopher/theist" blah blah who are so "certain" with their "logical" b........ You can't prove God DOESN'T exist anymore than a believer can prove that God DOES exist. Maybe you should just stay home, since after all the concert is taking place on enemy ground.

By the way, I've been to several concerts at Calvin, and have performed there myself twice.


I think your "check your ego at the door" line of argument is a reasonable one.

However I should say I've not seen anyone in this thread express "certainty" about the kind of things you're implying, and I don't advocate quite such an absolute position, but certainty based on logic would still be hugely preferable to certainty based on blind faith. In any case, since you bring it up, a non-believer doesn't HAVE to prove anything, any more than they have to prove the non-existence of invisible dragons. The burden of proof lies with the ones making the positive claim.

Also, I don't think there's much to "get over", as no one has indicated any particularly strong emotions over this, nor has anyone said anything which suggests, whatever their personal beliefs, that they could consider a venue such as this "enemy ground". Atheists are not like Damien from The Omen suffering a fit while being driven towards a church. wink
Posted By: nocturne152 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 11:41 PM
Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by lostaccato
"I worked really hard to get here. How about you thank me a little too, eh?"... It's also disrespectful to anyone in the audience with conflicting views.


First, check your ego at the door. The audience is there already to hear YOU. Everything that is done BEFORE a concert ever takes place (which is more than most think) was done because YOU were going to be playing. Even if you suck...and unless you suck terribly...there will be applause and people will seek you out afterward. Anddd there will be a paycheck waiting for you. Need more thanks?
Secondly, it is not at all disrespectful to anyone with any view, whether in the audience or behind the scenes. People need to get over this kind of thing already for God's sake. It's not as if they're trying to force their beliefs on anyone. Pray to your own god, or sit there silently and kick yourself for not practicing more, but just get over it. I just have had it with those with the whole "philosopher/theist" blah blah who are so "certain" with their "logical" b........ You can't prove God DOESN'T exist anymore than a believer can prove that God DOES exist. Maybe you should just stay home, since after all the concert is taking place on enemy ground.

By the way, I've been to several concerts at Calvin, and have performed there myself twice.


1) Why are you preaching at me?
2) " You can't prove God DOESN'T exist anymore than a believer can prove that God DOES exist." You say this as if you think I am an atheist, which I am not. I am a theist. There's a difference..
3) You appear to have a problem with me. What is it?
Posted By: Carey Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/04/12 11:56 PM
Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by carey
Originally Posted by GlassLove
The setting was intimate (an auditorium at Calvin College, a distinctly Christian liberal arts university) and the recital was part of the larger Gilmore Festival.....Before his performance began, the individual who introduced Tao spoke briefly about him, then led the audience in prayer (apparently a general practice at all performances at Calvin). This prayer included thanking God for Conrad Tao's gifts....


This is from the OP's original post. I don't understand what is "unclear" about the setting or situation.



I have a good friend who has been teaching at Calvin College for 35 years. It never occurred to me that pre-performance prayers would be general practice at Calvin - but on the other hand, I'm not in the least bit surprised.

Calvin College is an educational institution of the Christian Reformed Church in North America, and traces its roots back to the Dutch Reformed Church of the Netherlands.

As long as the prayer was cleared with the performer in advance - and he was OK with it - then that's that. Obviously this was the OP's first concert going experience at Calvin. grin


What's unclear to me is whether the Gilmore festival is a religious one, or is put on by a religious group.



As far as I can tell, the Festival is not put on by a religious group. It takes place at a variety of venues throughout Western Michigan, with the home base being Kalamazoo. The following article refers specifically to the Grand Rapids events - but there is a link to the main Festival page. smile

http://www.mlive.com/entertainment/...2/04/2012_gilmore_keyboard_festival.html

Posted By: Carey Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 12:13 AM
Originally Posted by lostaccato

3) You appear to have a problem with me. What is it?


Perhaps he was simply reacting to your post - not YOU personally. There's a difference. Let it go....... grin
Posted By: nocturne152 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 12:26 AM
lolololol
Posted By: GlassLove Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 12:27 AM
The Gilmore Keyboard Festival is in NO way religious.


I hope that if you perform at Calvin again, Stores, you will PM me as I would love to hear you perform. Calvin College is just a few blocks from my home.

Yes, it was the first time that I had attended a musical event at Calvin. I wasn't shocked by the prayer (heck, our symphony begins each season with the national anthem....that is a little strange to me too). The acoustics of the hall were very nice indeed. I would gladly attend another there. I teach at a large state university and (believe it or not) prayers are said at major gatherings (graduation, faculty awards ceremonies). We even have a beautiful Carillon tower with biblical verses sculpted into its foundation (I am not sure how this could happen, but it has). We actually have a "church" on campus. We don't call it that because it is a state university, but trust me, it looks like a church, is used by people as a church (people marry one another there etc.). It is also the place where many wonderful music performances occur. I have colleagues who refuse to enter because they are "offended" by its resemblance to a church, but they are missing out on quite a few remarkable performances, in my opinion.

Thanks to those of you who addressed the question that genuinely peaked my curiosity.

Posted By: nocturne152 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 12:30 AM
Originally Posted by The Hound
Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by lostaccato
"I worked really hard to get here. How about you thank me a little too, eh?"... It's also disrespectful to anyone in the audience with conflicting views.


First, check your ego at the door. The audience is there already to hear YOU. Everything that is done BEFORE a concert ever takes place (which is more than most think) was done because YOU were going to be playing. Even if you suck...and unless you suck terribly...there will be applause and people will seek you out afterward. Anddd there will be a paycheck waiting for you. Need more thanks?
Secondly, it is not at all disrespectful to anyone with any view, whether in the audience or behind the scenes. People need to get over this kind of thing already for God's sake. It's not as if they're trying to force their beliefs on anyone. Pray to your own god, or sit there silently and kick yourself for not practicing more, but just get over it. I just have had it with those with the whole "philosopher/theist" blah blah who are so "certain" with their "logical" b........ You can't prove God DOESN'T exist anymore than a believer can prove that God DOES exist. Maybe you should just stay home, since after all the concert is taking place on enemy ground.

By the way, I've been to several concerts at Calvin, and have performed there myself twice.


I think your "check your ego at the door" line of argument is a reasonable one.

However I should say I've not seen anyone in this thread express "certainty" about the kind of things you're implying, and I don't advocate quite such an absolute position, but certainty based on logic would still be hugely preferable to certainty based on blind faith. In any case, since you bring it up, a non-believer doesn't HAVE to prove anything, any more than they have to prove the non-existence of invisible dragons. The burden of proof lies with the ones making the positive claim.

Also, I don't think there's much to "get over", as no one has indicated any particularly strong emotions over this, nor has anyone said anything which suggests, whatever their personal beliefs, that they could consider a venue such as this "enemy ground". Atheists are not like Damien from The Omen suffering a fit while being driven towards a church. wink


+1
Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 02:25 AM
Then, you should come to tomorrow's event as well Christine. This one will be in the same building, CFAC but, in the larger auditorium.

The entire building was completely redone a couple of years ago and was in fact, completely closed for 18 months while they completed the hmmm, I forget, but, I want to say 18 million dollar(?) renovation. Something like that. All paid for... They did a wonderful job too. Check out tomorrow's venue.

Pianist Ingrid Fliter and the Gilmore Festival Chamber Orchestra

May 5 in Covenant Fine Arts Center at Calvin College

Pianist Ingrid Fliter, the 2006 Gilmore Artist, performs Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos along with Venezuelan-born pianist Vanessa Perez and the Gilmore Festival Chamber Orchestra, comprised of musicians from both the Grand Rapids Symphony and Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, under their respective music directors, David Lockington and Raymond Harvey. Fliter and Perez also will perform individually in works for piano by Chopin and for piano and orchestra by Haydn.

Tickets available from the Calvin College box office are $35. Call the box office at 616-526-6282.

I met both of these women. Very sweet, funny, full of life and love to laugh! I had them both giggling and they had me laughing! That's the best part of this job sometimes.

Doors open at 7:30 as soon as I'm finished touching the two pianos up. Concert starts at 8 PM. wink
Posted By: Cinnamonbear Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 04:29 AM
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Jerry Groot RPT
Hi Everyone,

I am the technician that Christine is speaking of. smile

So cool -- one of our own people! smile
How great is that!



I knew it. Really. I did. Intuitively. Well, maybe not entirely intuitively. But still, I knew it.

So, Mark... What did you learn from this experience?
Posted By: polyphasicpianist Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 04:37 AM
As soon as the prayer finished Tao should have asserted "Allah be praised" for all to hear.
Posted By: trigalg693 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 04:53 AM
Allah means God in a different language, wouldn't be offensive at all :P

Even though I'm not religious, and I feel uncomfortable when people pray and stuff around me, having people pray for me before a concert would be a huge compliment! laugh Shows that they really appreciate the occasion.
Posted By: Cinnamonbear Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 05:19 AM
Originally Posted by GlassLove
The Gilmore Keyboard Festival is in NO way religious. [...] Yes, it was the first time that I had attended a musical event at Calvin. I wasn't shocked by the prayer (heck, our symphony begins each season with the national anthem....that is a little strange to me too). The acoustics of the hall were very nice indeed. I would gladly attend another there. I teach at a large state university and (believe it or not) prayers are said at major gatherings (graduation, faculty awards ceremonies). We even have a beautiful Carillon tower with biblical verses sculpted into its foundation (I am not sure how this could happen, but it has). We actually have a "church" on campus. We don't call it that because it is a state university, but trust me, it looks like a church, is used by people as a church (people marry one another there etc.). It is also the place where many wonderful music performances occur. I have colleagues who refuse to enter because they are "offended" by its resemblance to a church, but they are missing out on quite a few remarkable performances, in my opinion. [...]


I am going to get very personal here, and hope that this thread does not get locked before I get to give an even better answer to the OP! grin

I was married to my dear wife under a glass geodesic dome at SIU-Edwardsville, a Buckminster Fuller dome that filtered sunlight through a picture of the Earth/globe that was painted on it with a blue sea and clear continents, a dome, the building of which, was named, "The Ecumenical Center." It was a Christian marriage, officiated by my dear childhood pastor (a hardy Minnesota farmer) who preached "The Good News of Jesus the Christ!" with abandon every Sunday (emphasis always on Good News!!!). After reading some of the comments in this thread, I can't help but wonder if we didn't mis-use the dome? eek
Posted By: polyphasicpianist Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 05:37 AM
Originally Posted by trigalg693
Allah means God in a different language, wouldn't be offensive at all :P


[sarcasm] Yep, it is just that simple. [/sarcasm]
Posted By: trigalg693 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 05:53 AM
Originally Posted by polyphasicpianist
Originally Posted by trigalg693
Allah means God in a different language, wouldn't be offensive at all :P


[sarcasm] Yep, it is just that simple. [/sarcasm]


It is that simple, although strong anti-Arab/Middle-East sentiment makes certain people think otherwise.
Posted By: Cinnamonbear Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 06:01 AM
Originally Posted by Cinnamonbear
Originally Posted by GlassLove
The Gilmore Keyboard Festival is in NO way religious. [...] Yes, it was the first time that I had attended a musical event at Calvin. I wasn't shocked by the prayer (heck, our symphony begins each season with the national anthem....that is a little strange to me too). The acoustics of the hall were very nice indeed. I would gladly attend another there. I teach at a large state university and (believe it or not) prayers are said at major gatherings (graduation, faculty awards ceremonies). We even have a beautiful Carillon tower with biblical verses sculpted into its foundation (I am not sure how this could happen, but it has). We actually have a "church" on campus. We don't call it that because it is a state university, but trust me, it looks like a church, is used by people as a church (people marry one another there etc.). It is also the place where many wonderful music performances occur. I have colleagues who refuse to enter because they are "offended" by its resemblance to a church, but they are missing out on quite a few remarkable performances, in my opinion. [...]


I am going to get very personal here, and hope that this thread does not get locked before I get to give an even better answer to the OP! grin

I was married to my dear wife under a glass geodesic dome at SIU-Edwardsville, a Buckminster Fuller dome that filtered sunlight through a picture of the Earth/globe that was painted on it with a blue sea and clear continents, a dome, the building of which, was named, "The Ecumenical Center." It was a Christian marriage, officiated by my dear childhood pastor (a hardy Minnesota farmer) who preached "The Good News of Jesus the Christ!" with abandon every Sunday (emphasis always on Good News!!!). After reading some of the comments in this thread, I can't help but wonder if we didn't mis-use the dome? eek


Here it is in poetry:

I was married
To my dear wife under
A glass geodesic dome
At SIU-Edwardsville, a Buckminster Fuller
Dome
That filtered sunlight through a picture of the
Earth/globe
That had painted on it
A blue sea
And clear continents,
A Dome,
The Building of which was named,
"The Ecumenical Center."

It was a Christian marriage,
Officiated
By my dear childhood pastor
(A hardy Minnesota farmer)
Who preached "The Good News of Jesus the Christ!" with abandon
Every Sunday
(Emphasis always on Good News!!!)

Posted By: hawgdriver Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 06:48 AM
Beliefs of any kind make me uncomfortable, because I'm never content with axiomatic answers. I'd be more uncomfortable because I'm sensitive to what I would perceive as axiomatic thinking--sensitive to the notion that those around me might be reluctant probe the foundation of their beliefs. I say this even though those present probably have a lot in common with me. Too many deep philosophical and religious discussions with what I determine are relatively superficial believers (both religious and non-religious). It sounds like Christine is similarly sensitive to those feelings, and this prompted her inquiry.

But my reflection has traveled far beyond the situation Christine described. This was just a prayer. That itself seems like spiritual nourishment, something nearly anyone should respect. If I heard that the effect of the prayer was that I had been claimed to belong to something held dear to others, I would be flattered. Unless that something held dear was morally repugnant, of course. It sure doesn't sound like that. All religions have their mortal strays, so I'd assume that what the prayer sought, what the dearly-held beliefs aimed at, was a beautiful ideal--and I was associated with that. Not something I need to worry about anytime soon.

Really, I'd probably be humbled more than anything, mainly because it means that people want to hear me play. It is a gift when someone really wants to hear your music. A gift I'm not likely to ever know--definitely not like Tao knows.
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 06:50 AM
Originally Posted by Cinnamonbear
....What did you learn from this experience?

Nothing that I didn't know before, particularly that I can be wrong. ha

Actually, as I said in the earlier post, I learned a lot about the emergency-broken-string thing.
Posted By: wr Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 07:51 AM
Originally Posted by trigalg693
Originally Posted by polyphasicpianist
Originally Posted by trigalg693
Allah means God in a different language, wouldn't be offensive at all :P


[sarcasm] Yep, it is just that simple. [/sarcasm]


It is that simple, although strong anti-Arab/Middle-East sentiment makes certain people think otherwise.


No, it is not as simple as merely the word being in a different language. There's an entire religion attached, a religion which has for many centuries been in conflict, often quite bloody, with the religion of the person who said the prayer before the concert.

Posted By: trigalg693 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 07:57 AM
Originally Posted by wr

No, it is not as simple as merely the word being in a different language. There's an entire religion attached, a religion which has for many centuries been in conflict, often quite bloody, with the religion of the person who said the prayer before the concert.



I know that. When I wrote the first post I understood this. Never denied that some people would take offense wink Just saying that a well informed person shouldn't.
Posted By: wr Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 08:10 AM
Originally Posted by GlassLove
The Gilmore Keyboard Festival is in NO way religious.



So do they actually pay to rent the hall?

Quote



Yes, it was the first time that I had attended a musical event at Calvin. I wasn't shocked by the prayer (heck, our symphony begins each season with the national anthem....that is a little strange to me too). The acoustics of the hall were very nice indeed. I would gladly attend another there. I teach at a large state university and (believe it or not) prayers are said at major gatherings (graduation, faculty awards ceremonies). We even have a beautiful Carillon tower with biblical verses sculpted into its foundation (I am not sure how this could happen, but it has). We actually have a "church" on campus. We don't call it that because it is a state university, but trust me, it looks like a church, is used by people as a church (people marry one another there etc.). It is also the place where many wonderful music performances occur. I have colleagues who refuse to enter because they are "offended" by its resemblance to a church, but they are missing out on quite a few remarkable performances, in my opinion.

Thanks to those of you who addressed the question that genuinely peaked my curiosity.



The word you want is "piqued", not "peaked".

Anyway, I have a friend from Michigan (moved away long ago) who regales me with stories of how backward it is, and how happy she is that she managed to escape. This story about the Tao recital intro fits right in with stuff she has said.

I've attended many concerts in churches and can't even remember the last time the audience had to put up with some introduction like that. I'm sure it's happened, but must have been a very long time ago.
Posted By: wr Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 08:13 AM
Originally Posted by rocket88
Originally Posted by lostaccato
It's also disrespectful to anyone in the audience with conflicting views.


With politically correct thinking such as this, the venue would have to clear in advance everything that might be said or done, and clear it with everyone who might attend the event so as to not potentially "offend" someone.

The event was at a Christian college, and they prayed a Christian prayer. Wow.

this:
Quote
They are on their turf so they can do things their way.


The ultimate in being politically correct is to accuse others of being politically correct.


Posted By: Dave Horne Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 08:32 AM
Just a general comment - the you can't prove something doesn't exist is not a valid argument.

If I believed there was a six foot three and half inch invisible rabbit who goes by the name Harvey standing next to me, you can't prove he doesn't exist, the burden is up to me to prove he does exist. Wasting time on proving things that don't exist is futile ... we all knew that, didn't we?
Posted By: KeemaNan Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 08:43 AM
I would find it a little bizarre if this happened. If I had been asked if I minded, I would say no, of course not. If I hadn't been asked I would be irritated by it but wouldn't show it. Isn't that how most reasonable people would deal with it ?
Posted By: wr Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 08:48 AM
Originally Posted by GlassLove

I don't think I was terribly clear about what bothered me. Like I said in my earlier post, I am not bothered by public prayer (especially at a religious university). I thought WHAT was said during the prayer could have easily offended someone who has worked so hard to achieve the level of skill that Tao has. Sure, maybe he himself believes God's hand is in his work. I was simply saying that I would want to say something to the contrary were I introduced in that way. So were my piano teacher to say "Oh Christine your playing today was a gift from God," I would most certainly say something along the lines of "No, I just practiced a lot!" Of course the more likely reference to God in my piano lesson would be more along the lines of "Dear God...when will Christine stop playing?" laugh

Have you followed the career of Turkish pianist Fazil Say? He is leaving Turkey because he came out as an atheist and has been suffering since.


What you are saying is sort of the flip side of things that went through my mind back in the days when I used to watch the Grammy awards. When I first watched them, I didn't see this so much, but later, it apparently became de rigueur for performers in some genres to thank god for their win, during their acceptance speech. And I always thought "so your own work and that of many others who worked with you, plus the vast promotional machine of your label, had nothing to do with it?" It seemed like a totally bogus kind of false modesty, and it often also implied the rather nasty self-congratulatory subtext of "see, god likes me more than all the other nominees, so I must be a better person than they are". Or maybe it was just pandering to those who shared their religious ideas.

For obvious reasons, it is extremely dangerous for people to think they have received some kind of supernatural approval. For doing whatever. All too often, it leads them to do all sorts of horrible things to other people or themselves. As in the Crusades.
Posted By: nocturne152 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 11:25 AM
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
Just a general comment - the you can't prove something doesn't exist is not a valid argument.

If I believed there was a six foot three and half inch invisible rabbit who goes by the name Harvey standing next to me, you can't prove he doesn't exist, the burden is up to me to prove he does exist. Wasting time on proving things that don't exist is futile ... we all knew that, didn't we?


True, but there are philosophical reasons to think that there is personal existence after death. If the atheist says "I don't believe in divinity.", that is a perfectly acceptable statement but if the atheist claims "Divinity does NOT exist." Then the burden of proof lies with him/her. Same goes for the theist who says "I believe in divinity.". That is acceptable, but to say "Divinity DOES exist." would then place the burden of proof on the theist, so the burden of proof can lay both ways.
Posted By: Dave Horne Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 12:43 PM
Originally Posted by lostaccato
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
Just a general comment - the you can't prove something doesn't exist is not a valid argument.

If I believed there was a six foot three and half inch invisible rabbit who goes by the name Harvey standing next to me, you can't prove he doesn't exist, the burden is up to me to prove he does exist. Wasting time on proving things that don't exist is futile ... we all knew that, didn't we?


True, but there are philosophical reasons to think that there is personal existence after death. If the atheist says "I don't believe in divinity.", that is a perfectly acceptable statement but if the atheist claims "Divinity does NOT exist." Then the burden of proof lies with him/her. Same goes for the theist who says "I believe in divinity.". That is acceptable, but to say "Divinity DOES exist." would then place the burden of proof on the theist, so the burden of proof can lay both ways.


An atheist is an atheist because there is insufficient proof for a god\God\gods\Gods ... whatever. If I, for example, am shown sufficient proof, I will change my position on anything.

We always will get back to this, the burden of proof lies with those who claim that something exists.



Posted By: nocturne152 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 12:52 PM
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
Originally Posted by lostaccato
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
Just a general comment - the you can't prove something doesn't exist is not a valid argument.

If I believed there was a six foot three and half inch invisible rabbit who goes by the name Harvey standing next to me, you can't prove he doesn't exist, the burden is up to me to prove he does exist. Wasting time on proving things that don't exist is futile ... we all knew that, didn't we?


True, but there are philosophical reasons to think that there is personal existence after death. If the atheist says "I don't believe in divinity.", that is a perfectly acceptable statement but if the atheist claims "Divinity does NOT exist." Then the burden of proof lies with him/her. Same goes for the theist who says "I believe in divinity.". That is acceptable, but to say "Divinity DOES exist." would then place the burden of proof on the theist, so the burden of proof can lay both ways.


An atheist is an atheist because there is insufficient proof for a god\God\gods\Gods ... whatever. If I, for example, am shown sufficient proof, I will change my position on anything.

We always will get back to this, the burden of proof lies with those who claim that something exists.





With all due respect, that's just not true. The burden of proof doesn't lay only with the positive claim. It is just as equally the negative. The burden of proof lies with anyone making claims for the SURE existence or SURE non-existence of divinity. Divine existence is not in the same category as an "invisible elephant in the room that can't be seen, felt, heard, or smelled". Don't make light of philosophy.
Posted By: Dave Horne Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 01:57 PM
Don't make light of philosophy.

I wouldn't dream of making light of a philosophy that tries to explain or make sense of that which is unknowable or unexplainable. smile
Posted By: nocturne152 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 02:47 PM
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
Don't make light of philosophy.

I wouldn't dream of making light of a philosophy that tries to explain or make sense of that which is unknowable or unexplainable. smile


Thus proving your ignorance. ^^
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 04:56 PM
It was only a matter of time. ha

I'm amazed the thread made it this far....
Posted By: Cinnamonbear Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 05:09 PM
Originally Posted by Mark_C
It was only a matter of time. ha

I'm amazed the thread made it this far....


Well, Kreisler did say the mice could play... wink
Posted By: nocturne152 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 05:44 PM
Originally Posted by Mark_C
It was only a matter of time. ha

I'm amazed the thread made it this far....


haha yea yea... im not trying to sound rude though ^^^^
Posted By: bennevis Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 06:37 PM
What it all boils down to is, do you believe in the supernatural? grin
Posted By: The Hound Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 06:58 PM
Originally Posted by lostaccato
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
Originally Posted by lostaccato
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
Just a general comment - the you can't prove something doesn't exist is not a valid argument.

If I believed there was a six foot three and half inch invisible rabbit who goes by the name Harvey standing next to me, you can't prove he doesn't exist, the burden is up to me to prove he does exist. Wasting time on proving things that don't exist is futile ... we all knew that, didn't we?


True, but there are philosophical reasons to think that there is personal existence after death. If the atheist says "I don't believe in divinity.", that is a perfectly acceptable statement but if the atheist claims "Divinity does NOT exist." Then the burden of proof lies with him/her. Same goes for the theist who says "I believe in divinity.". That is acceptable, but to say "Divinity DOES exist." would then place the burden of proof on the theist, so the burden of proof can lay both ways.


An atheist is an atheist because there is insufficient proof for a god\God\gods\Gods ... whatever. If I, for example, am shown sufficient proof, I will change my position on anything.

We always will get back to this, the burden of proof lies with those who claim that something exists.





With all due respect, that's just not true. The burden of proof doesn't lay only with the positive claim. It is just as equally the negative. The burden of proof lies with anyone making claims for the SURE existence or SURE non-existence of divinity. Divine existence is not in the same category as an "invisible elephant in the room that can't be seen, felt, heard, or smelled". Don't make light of philosophy.


One can't prove a negative, and even if someone is sure something doesn't exist they don't need to prove it, especially if that thing is improbable. I am sure unicorns don't exist - there is hardly an equal burden of proof on me to that of a hypothetical person believing that they in fact do exist. If you make the claim for the existence of a creator then the burden of proof is unquestionably on you. Not only that, but such an extraordinary claim requires extraordinary evidence.
Posted By: nocturne152 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 07:03 PM
Originally Posted by The Hound
Originally Posted by lostaccato
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
Originally Posted by lostaccato
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
Just a general comment - the you can't prove something doesn't exist is not a valid argument.

If I believed there was a six foot three and half inch invisible rabbit who goes by the name Harvey standing next to me, you can't prove he doesn't exist, the burden is up to me to prove he does exist. Wasting time on proving things that don't exist is futile ... we all knew that, didn't we?


True, but there are philosophical reasons to think that there is personal existence after death. If the atheist says "I don't believe in divinity.", that is a perfectly acceptable statement but if the atheist claims "Divinity does NOT exist." Then the burden of proof lies with him/her. Same goes for the theist who says "I believe in divinity.". That is acceptable, but to say "Divinity DOES exist." would then place the burden of proof on the theist, so the burden of proof can lay both ways.


An atheist is an atheist because there is insufficient proof for a god\God\gods\Gods ... whatever. If I, for example, am shown sufficient proof, I will change my position on anything.

We always will get back to this, the burden of proof lies with those who claim that something exists.





With all due respect, that's just not true. The burden of proof doesn't lay only with the positive claim. It is just as equally the negative. The burden of proof lies with anyone making claims for the SURE existence or SURE non-existence of divinity. Divine existence is not in the same category as an "invisible elephant in the room that can't be seen, felt, heard, or smelled". Don't make light of philosophy.


Yes, it is true. One can't prove a negative, and even if someone is sure something doesn't exist they don't need to prove it, especially if that thing is improbable. I am sure unicorns don't exist - there is hardly an equal burden of proof on me to that of a hypothetical person believing that they in fact do exist. If you make the claim for the existence of a creator then the burden of proof is unquestionably on you. Not only that, but such an extraordinary claim requires extraordinary evidence.



There are philosophical reasons to think that divinity could exist, therefor the atheist claiming the ABSOLUTE NON-EXISTENCE must carry the burden of proof. Same goes for the theist claiming the ABSOLUTE EXISTENCE of divinity. They both must carry the burden of proof it they make an absolute claim. I've stated this before. What do you not get about this?
Posted By: bennevis Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 07:11 PM
How about praying to *** to grant you the technique of, say, Horowitz?

If you wake up next morning and can play Horowitz's 'Star & Stripes' arrangement like Horowitz, *** exists. Case proven.

If not, *** doesn't.
Posted By: The Hound Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 07:14 PM
Originally Posted by lostaccato
Originally Posted by The Hound
Originally Posted by lostaccato
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
Originally Posted by lostaccato
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
Just a general comment - the you can't prove something doesn't exist is not a valid argument.

If I believed there was a six foot three and half inch invisible rabbit who goes by the name Harvey standing next to me, you can't prove he doesn't exist, the burden is up to me to prove he does exist. Wasting time on proving things that don't exist is futile ... we all knew that, didn't we?


True, but there are philosophical reasons to think that there is personal existence after death. If the atheist says "I don't believe in divinity.", that is a perfectly acceptable statement but if the atheist claims "Divinity does NOT exist." Then the burden of proof lies with him/her. Same goes for the theist who says "I believe in divinity.". That is acceptable, but to say "Divinity DOES exist." would then place the burden of proof on the theist, so the burden of proof can lay both ways.


An atheist is an atheist because there is insufficient proof for a god\God\gods\Gods ... whatever. If I, for example, am shown sufficient proof, I will change my position on anything.

We always will get back to this, the burden of proof lies with those who claim that something exists.





With all due respect, that's just not true. The burden of proof doesn't lay only with the positive claim. It is just as equally the negative. The burden of proof lies with anyone making claims for the SURE existence or SURE non-existence of divinity. Divine existence is not in the same category as an "invisible elephant in the room that can't be seen, felt, heard, or smelled". Don't make light of philosophy.


Yes, it is true. One can't prove a negative, and even if someone is sure something doesn't exist they don't need to prove it, especially if that thing is improbable. I am sure unicorns don't exist - there is hardly an equal burden of proof on me to that of a hypothetical person believing that they in fact do exist. If you make the claim for the existence of a creator then the burden of proof is unquestionably on you. Not only that, but such an extraordinary claim requires extraordinary evidence.



There are philosophical reasons to think that divinity could exist, therefor the atheist claiming the ABSOLUTE NON-EXISTENCE must carry the burden of proof. Same goes for the theist claiming the ABSOLUTE EXISTENCE of divinity. They both must carry the burden of proof it they make an absolute claim. I've stated this before. What do you not get about this?


There aren't any good ones that I've heard. In any case, I could equally ask what you don't get about proving a negative. It's impossible to prove God doesn't exist. Whereas if he existed it would not be (theoretically) impossible to prove.

Either way, and to put it more simply, if two people are arguing the existence of God and each one is certain, then the burden of proof clearly lies with the one making the positive claim. I don't see how that can be disputed.

Posted By: tnew Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 07:26 PM
Time to go play the piano.
Posted By: nocturne152 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 07:27 PM


"Either way, and to put it more simply, if two people are arguing the existence of God and each one is certain, then the burden of proof clearly lies with the one making the positive claim. I don't see how that can be disputed."



No it doesn't. The burden of proof lies with ANYONE making a claim. Positive or negative, regarding anything - not just god. And I'll go into philosophy if you really want some "arguments" towards "life" after death. Eh?
Posted By: Damon Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 07:35 PM
Originally Posted by Mark_C
It was only a matter of time. ha

I'm amazed the thread made it this far....


Hitler was a christian, you know. laugh ha
Posted By: nocturne152 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 07:38 PM
Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by Mark_C
It was only a matter of time. ha

I'm amazed the thread made it this far....


Hitler was a christian, you know. laugh ha


He thought he was.
Posted By: Pogorelich. Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 07:38 PM
Of course it's offensive. Thanking god for this recital? Did god work and practice, or did I? If that happened to me I'd leave and say "if you're thanking god for my 'talent' and this recital, god is surely great enough to present you with an evening of music without me being here. Then the gratitude would be justified."
Posted By: Dave Horne Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 07:43 PM
And the prize goes to Damon for being the first person in this thread to mention Hitler.
Posted By: The Hound Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 08:10 PM
Originally Posted by lostaccato


"Either way, and to put it more simply, if two people are arguing the existence of God and each one is certain, then the burden of proof clearly lies with the one making the positive claim. I don't see how that can be disputed."



No it doesn't. The burden of proof lies with ANYONE making a claim. Positive or negative, regarding anything - not just god. And I'll go into philosophy if you really want some "arguments" towards "life" after death. Eh?


Well done for ignoring both the arguments I made and generally accepted philosophical convention, I guess. Good luck getting people to prove those negatives.

As for your offer - no thanks. I somehow suspect that if it were something actually convincing I'd have heard it anyway, and I've had quite enough religious sophistry for now - it's hardly what I came to this site for anyway. Music is far more important to me than my non-belief in all mankind's various deities. As my man Frank Zappa once said: "music is the only religion that delivers the goods".

Kind of surprised this thread hasn't been closed yet, actually, given what happened to the one about "divine insipiration".
Posted By: Ken Knapp Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 08:18 PM
I don't get upset about these things. If someone wishes to pray for me or pronounce a blessing directed towards me, or pray for me according to their religion I would take it as it is intended - well wishes for me. A compliment that they would think to do so. No matter their religion. But that's just me.
Posted By: Ken Knapp Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 08:21 PM
Originally Posted by The Hound

Kind of surprised this thread hasn't been closed yet, actually, given what happened to the one about "divine insipiration".


Well, thus far (according to what I have read), nobody is making implications about people being ignorant, stupid, lacking mental horsepower, etc. for their beliefs. From what I have seen it's just a back and forth discussion. Now if we get into those types of things.... smile
Posted By: nocturne152 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 08:30 PM
Originally Posted by Ken Knapp
Originally Posted by The Hound

Kind of surprised this thread hasn't been closed yet, actually, given what happened to the one about "divine insipiration".


Well, thus far (according to what I have read), nobody is making implications about people being ignorant, stupid, lacking mental horsepower, etc. for their beliefs. From what I have seen it's just a back and forth discussion. Now if we get into those types of things.... smile


Well, I called someone ignorant earlier - it's still up there^^ but it wasn't meant to be disrespectful. The comment basically proclaimed his/her ignorance of what philosophy even is. But unfortunately it looks like the discussions are ending here. At least, for me - because my offer was declined. This was a fun thread though, ha!
Posted By: The Hound Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 08:30 PM
Originally Posted by Ken Knapp
Originally Posted by The Hound

Kind of surprised this thread hasn't been closed yet, actually, given what happened to the one about "divine insipiration".


Well, thus far (according to what I have read), nobody is making implications about people being ignorant, stupid, lacking mental horsepower, etc. for their beliefs. From what I have seen it's just a back and forth discussion. Now if we get into those types of things.... smile


Agreed, the discussion has been reasonably civil (as one should hope). It was just that the person who closed that other thread (which was also civil) said something to the effect that the mods on here generally liked to completely avoid these kinds of topics, as the chances of flaming do rather increase the longer they go on.

Not that I'm trying to influence anything or that I particularly care if it stays open or not. smile
Posted By: Bech Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 08:50 PM
Originally Posted by bennevis
What it all boils down to is, do you believe in the supernatural? grin


By jove bennevis, the more you say the better I like you. You're so nice about it too. grin

Oh, concise too!

Bech
Posted By: Carey Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 08:52 PM
deleted
Posted By: hawgdriver Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 09:38 PM
Originally Posted by bennevis
What it all boils down to is, do you believe in the supernatural? grin


Yes! If, by supernatural, you mean this existence! grin
Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 09:52 PM
From my understanding of Calvin College, which also has a very well known seminary, and is a Christian organization, they pretty much pray before all events. I'd be surprised if they didn't.

To my knowledge, all performers (I've never asked so I am presuming this is how it works) are "invited" to perform here and if not invited are then accepted if they ask. However, there are some, that are never invited back for various reasons or if they ask, are refused. Usually, this will be due to some sort of "condescending type of an attitude" that is coped by some of them. Sarcastic, rude, condescending, overly demanding etc. That simply is NOT tolerated at all here. Or it could be the type of music they perform. Unchristian like music according to their standards.

As for, do they tell them before hand about prayer? I do not know but, seeing that they are playing on a campus that is a 'private' Christian College, with a large Seminary, they must know prayer is a very likely event and of course, is their prerogative seeing as it is Calvin's property. I think, if whomever, doesn't like it, they do not have to come otherwise, there's the door... smile
Posted By: Andromaque Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 10:12 PM
Originally Posted by Pogorelich.
Of course it's offensive. Thanking god for this recital? Did god work and practice, or did I? If that happened to me I'd leave and say "if you're thanking god for my 'talent' and this recital, god is surely great enough to present you with an evening of music without me being here. Then the gratitude would be justified."


Goodness me! That is kind of intolerant, pogo! A musician offers her music to all humanity regardless of their creed. How about taking it graciously as a well intended compliment? What do you loose? As far as not recognizing the hard work and practice, I have news for you. When and if you start performing to capacity audience in major halls, you should know that many of the folks who will applaud or even give you a standing ovation, probably think you are just talented and have no idea that you slaved for hours over the music. What are you going to do? walk out on them too?
Posted By: stores Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 10:19 PM
Originally Posted by Pogorelich.
Of course it's offensive. Thanking god for this recital? Did god work and practice, or did I? If that happened to me I'd leave and say "if you're thanking god for my 'talent' and this recital, god is surely great enough to present you with an evening of music without me being here. Then the gratitude would be justified."


I love you so I'm going to bite my tongue (difficult, though it may be). We'll talk soon, I'm sure.
Posted By: GlassLove Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 10:26 PM
Thank you for the very useful information Jerry.

And I hope that you will join me in stating that Michigan and Grand Rapids are anything but "backward" (someone in the thread referred to it as that). This person has probably never visited our beautiful state, full of tolerance, diversity, and physical beauty.

I didn't mention Jerry in my earlier post because I wasn't sure that he wanted to be identified, but since he identified himself, I think you should also know that the audience applauded his remarkably quick piano repair. Several people who were sitting directly behind me were expressing doubt the ENTIRE time he was up there.....because he came from seat in the audience, they assumed he was just an audience member (very funny indeed). When he fixed it, they said......can't you predict it......."It is a miracle!!" (sorry I don't know how to do that "hide the text/click to reveal thingy."
Posted By: Damon Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 10:43 PM
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
And the prize goes to Damon for being the first person in this thread to mention Hitler.


Thank you, thank you, thank you. I couldn't have done it without my good friend Charles. wink
Posted By: wr Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 10:52 PM
Originally Posted by GlassLove


And I hope that you will join me in stating that Michigan and Grand Rapids are anything but "backward" (someone in the thread referred to it as that). This person has probably never visited our beautiful state, full of tolerance, diversity, and physical beauty.



Just to clarify, I didn't say it was backwards, I said a friend who was born and raised there said so. I did say this story and some details about your state university campus fit right in with what she had told me.


Posted By: rocket88 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 10:57 PM
Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
And the prize goes to Damon for being the first person in this thread to mention Hitler.


Thank you, thank you, thank you. I couldn't have done it without my good friend Charles. wink


If I remember correctly, when a internet thread reaches the point where Hitler or Nazi is mentioned, that is called "Godwin's Law"....uh, oh, I said "God... laugh
Posted By: wr Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/05/12 11:14 PM
Originally Posted by trigalg693
Originally Posted by wr

No, it is not as simple as merely the word being in a different language. There's an entire religion attached, a religion which has for many centuries been in conflict, often quite bloody, with the religion of the person who said the prayer before the concert.



I know that. When I wrote the first post I understood this. Never denied that some people would take offense wink Just saying that a well informed person shouldn't.


I'm not sure what being well-informed has to do with the issue. It seems to me that it could make a person feel more offended as well as less. To me, it depends on their point of view about it, not on how well-informed they are.


Posted By: Jeff Clef Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 01:21 AM
Where I grew up, they prayed over everything, even football pep rallies (where attendance was compulsory, and yes, that was fairly offensive).

The fuss resulting from objecting publicly would have been very offensive, there can be no doubt of it.

I guess the degree of offense depends on how much attention you're paying. On "Wife Swap," a television program, a woman even prayed to God for a recipe for taco salad. I could only think, "You're going to bother God over a thing like that? Did you even look in a recipe book?" But you can say whatever you want to the television screen; it doesn't matter.

But on another show, a plastic surgeon and his team prayed over the patient before the procedure, asking the lord that things go well and hoping He would grant the patient a good outcome. If I had been on the table, I don't think I would have minded. Not at all. I have a different spiritual practice these days, but I think their humility and their generous intention must be given some room, and some respect.

A private concert at a private church school is a different situation than a forced denominational prayer at a public school. I don't really think it's inappropriate, or even surprising, and I really don't think they returned thanks to God for the performer's talent, in order to offend the artist.

A performance can be as delicate and demanding as a surgery. Again, the humility and the generosity: asking that the artist be blessed.

The church and the civil authority are still separated. If any concertgoers were offended, they might think about where they were, and consider it best to overlook the matter--- so often the case in this world.
Posted By: beet31425 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 01:42 AM
Originally Posted by rocket88
Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
And the prize goes to Damon for being the first person in this thread to mention Hitler.


Thank you, thank you, thank you. I couldn't have done it without my good friend Charles. wink


If I remember correctly, when a internet thread reaches the point where Hitler or Nazi is mentioned, that is called "Godwin's Law"....uh, oh, I said "God... laugh


Godwin's Law, more precisely, is the statement that as an internet discussion grows longer, the probability that the Nazis or Hitler being mentioned approaches 1. Formulated back in 1990, when apparently people were having these kinds of awesome discussions over usenet groups. (Just another thing to be found in Borges's library....)

-J
Posted By: piano joy Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 02:09 AM
Originally Posted by Jeff Clef

I guess the degree of offense depends on how much attention you're paying. On "Wife Swap," a television program, a woman even prayed to God for a recipe for taco salad. I could only think, "You're going to bother God over a thing like that? Did you even look in a recipe book?" But you can say whatever you want to the television screen; it doesn't matter.


Someone else TOLD you about that "wife swap" episode, right? You weren't actually watching it.....

laugh
Posted By: Cinnamonbear Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 04:03 AM
How's this for a pre-performance prayer?:



wink
Posted By: polyphasicpianist Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 05:21 AM
Originally Posted by lostaccato
There are philosophical reasons to think that divinity could exist, therefor the atheist claiming the ABSOLUTE NON-EXISTENCE must carry the burden of proof. Same goes for the theist claiming the ABSOLUTE EXISTENCE of divinity. They both must carry the burden of proof it they make an absolute claim. I've stated this before. What do you not get about this?


First thing is first, philosophical arguments for God's existence are not theistic arguments (though they are frequently marshaled by theists for their own puroposes). I can apply these arguments to any God I choose to name or invent. Furthermore, in the philosophic literature none of these arguments hold any serious weight anymore as deductively proving the existence of an entity from a mere description of its essence has been shown impossible.

Second, interpreting atheism as a declaration of fact that a God does not exist is rather disingenuous since you are committing many atheists to a absolute metaphysical certainty they do not actually advocate. Atheism, favorably interpreted in contemporary society, should be understood as a lack of belief in a personal God which is motivated by reasons of varying kinds (e.g. scriptural inconsistencies and ethical failings; contradictions with science and history; etc.) . You may prefer to call this agnosticism or skepticism but, just as there are problems with making use of the word "atheist" to represent this type of view, there are also problems (which are largely historical) with making use of the words "agnostic" and "skeptic" to represent this same view. The fact is we need a word to represent our reasoned theory (not theorem) that a personal God does not exist, and the term atheist seems to be the best fit since it does not rule out deism, agnosticism, or even the type of metaphysically hardline atheism that very few people have the courage to advocate.

Thirdly, insofar as God is an empirical question, the burden of proof has to fall on the people who make a claim for his existence since, as has already been stated by other people, you can't empirically prove the non-existence of something. If atheists were making a strict deductive claim then you would, in theory be able to charge them with a burden of proof, but since claims about a thing's actual existence cannot be proved via deduction alone, then question of God's existence is solely an empirical one and thus the burden of proof falls upon those who would claim his existence.
Posted By: nocturne152 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 05:47 AM
Originally Posted by polyphasicpianist
Originally Posted by lostaccato
There are philosophical reasons to think that divinity could exist, therefor the atheist claiming the ABSOLUTE NON-EXISTENCE must carry the burden of proof. Same goes for the theist claiming the ABSOLUTE EXISTENCE of divinity. They both must carry the burden of proof it they make an absolute claim. I've stated this before. What do you not get about this?


First thing is first, philosophical arguments for God's existence are not theistic arguments (though they are frequently marshaled by theists for their own puroposes). I can apply these arguments to any God I choose to name or invent. Furthermore, in the philosophic literature none of these arguments hold any serious weight anymore as deductively proving the existence of an entity from a mere description of its essence has been shown impossible.

Second, interpreting atheism as a declaration of fact that a God does not exist is rather disingenuous since you are committing many atheists to a absolute metaphysical certainty they do not actually advocate. Atheism, favorably interpreted in contemporary society, should be understood as a lack of belief in a personal God which is motivated by reasons of varying kinds (e.g. scriptural inconsistencies and ethical failings; contradictions with science and history; etc.) . You may prefer to call this agnosticism or skepticism but, just as there are problems with making use of the word "atheist" to represent this type of view, there are also problems (which are largely historical) with making use of the words "agnostic" and "skeptic" to represent this same view. The fact is we need a word to represent our reasoned theory (not theorem) that a personal God does not exist, and the term atheist seems to be the best fit since it does not rule out deism, agnosticism, or even the type of metaphysically hardline atheism that very few people have the courage to advocate.

Thirdly, insofar as God is an empirical question, the burden of proof has to fall on the people who make a claim for his existence since, as has already been stated by other people, you can't empirically prove the non-existence of something. If atheists were making a strict deductive claim then you would, in theory be able to charge them with a burden of proof, but since claims about a thing's actual existence cannot be proved via deduction alone, then question of God's existence is solely an empirical one and thus the burden of proof falls upon those who would claim his existence.


The burden of proof lies with anyone making a claim. Do you get that? Think hard, eh? Not to complex. Regardless of negative or positive, if it is a claim - the burden of proof follows. PERIOD. I'm not just making up rules, do you people really not understand this simple concept? C'mon!

Also, just because you can't prove the non-existence of God doesn't mean God can't exist. Prove that I'm not conscious. Can you do that? I can't even prove to you that I AM conscious even if I tried! It is impossible to! Nor can I know for sure that you are even conscious. You and the rest of humanity could just be philosophical zombies, and there's no way for me to know, because the only thing that I can conclude to be 100% sure of is that my own mind exists. As for you and the rest of the human race? I just have to give you the benefit of the doubt. Obviously you can believe that my brain works and the electrical pulses are all there, but the conscious aspect of me - is not prove-able. Not being able to disprove something's existence, i.e. the "invisible elephant in the room" is NOT a valid argument.
Posted By: polyphasicpianist Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 06:03 AM
Originally Posted by lostaccato
The burden of proof lies with anyone making a claim. Do you get that? Think hard, eh? Not to complex. Regardless of negative or positive, if it is a claim - the burden of proof follows. PERIOD. I'm not just making up rules, do you people really not understand this simple concept? C'mon!


You are ignoring the distinction between deductive and inductive inferences.

Originally Posted by lostaccato

Also, just because you can't prove the non-existence of God doesn't mean God can't exist. Prove that I'm not conscious. Can you do that? I can't even prove to you that I AM conscious even if I tried! It is impossible to! Nor can I know for sure that you are even conscious. You and the rest of humanity could just be philosophical zombies, and there's no way for me to know. I just have to give you the benefit of the doubt. Obviously you can believe that my brain works and the electrical pulses are all there, but the conscious aspect of me - is not prove-able. Not being able to disprove something's existence, i.e. the "invisible elephant in the room" is NOT a valid argument.


I don't think anyone is arguing that God absolutely cannnot exist. Rather I think most people (myself included) are arguing that a personal (i.e. theistic) God probably does not exist. Also, from a empirical point of view, if you are making a claim about a invisible elephant in the room, then a charge of unfalsifiability is perfectly legitimate.
Posted By: Nikolas Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 06:25 AM
but, but, but...

does it really matter if gawd exists or not? I mean in the end, His teachings (whether there or not, whether the Son of gawd, or Moameth, or whoever anyhow) are what remain to us. We can choose to follow these teachings or not... And this is what matter in the end. If you do good in your life, does it matter if you did it because you are hoping for a great afterlife, or you fear the punishment of gawd, or other.

There is a slight issue in the above on how to decide whether something is 'good' or 'evil', but still I think it applies to most people (in the western world).

I don't care to prove anything to anyone (nore I think it's their business anyhow), but I do feel that I'm a nice guy (regardless if I do so for whatever reason) and in the end THIS is what you should care for (the 'you' goes to anyone).
Posted By: polyphasicpianist Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 06:40 AM
Originally Posted by Nikolas
but, but, but...

does it really matter if gawd exists or not?


[Linked Image]




(Leviticus: 20:13, Proverbs 13:24)




Yes, it does matter.
Posted By: wr Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 08:24 AM
Originally Posted by Nikolas
but, but, but...

does it really matter if gawd exists or not? I mean in the end, His teachings (whether there or not, whether the Son of gawd, or Moameth, or whoever anyhow) are what remain to us. We can choose to follow these teachings or not... And this is what matter in the end. If you do good in your life, does it matter if you did it because you are hoping for a great afterlife, or you fear the punishment of gawd, or other.

There is a slight issue in the above on how to decide whether something is 'good' or 'evil', but still I think it applies to most people (in the western world).

I don't care to prove anything to anyone (nore I think it's their business anyhow), but I do feel that I'm a nice guy (regardless if I do so for whatever reason) and in the end THIS is what you should care for (the 'you' goes to anyone).


You are right - it matters not at all whether gods exist; the only thing that matters is what people think and believe about that, and how it affects their actions.

And whether one is a compassionate and kind person (or not) seems to have little to do with it, regardless of any teachings. You can find "good" and "bad" people in pretty much any large group of believers, or non-believers, or don't-knowers.

However, how this works on the individual level and how it works as an influence on social grouping are two very different things. My own take on it is that individuals are frequently wonderful, but once you get humans into groups, look out.



Posted By: Nikolas Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 08:50 AM
wr: True... frown Grouping makes individuals into idiots I think (and guess what: Today is the national elections in Greece...)

Polyphasicpianist: I truly fail to see how the image and the 3 videos show anything other than what people believe and nothing about the actual existance of gawd. It remains that they act this way because of their belief regardless of it's there or not...
Posted By: wr Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 08:50 AM
Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
Where I grew up, they prayed over everything, even football pep rallies (where attendance was compulsory, and yes, that was fairly offensive).

The fuss resulting from objecting publicly would have been very offensive, there can be no doubt of it.

I guess the degree of offense depends on how much attention you're paying. On "Wife Swap," a television program, a woman even prayed to God for a recipe for taco salad. I could only think, "You're going to bother God over a thing like that? Did you even look in a recipe book?" But you can say whatever you want to the television screen; it doesn't matter.

But on another show, a plastic surgeon and his team prayed over the patient before the procedure, asking the lord that things go well and hoping He would grant the patient a good outcome. If I had been on the table, I don't think I would have minded. Not at all. I have a different spiritual practice these days, but I think their humility and their generous intention must be given some room, and some respect.

A private concert at a private church school is a different situation than a forced denominational prayer at a public school. I don't really think it's inappropriate, or even surprising, and I really don't think they returned thanks to God for the performer's talent, in order to offend the artist.

A performance can be as delicate and demanding as a surgery. Again, the humility and the generosity: asking that the artist be blessed.

The church and the civil authority are still separated. If any concertgoers were offended, they might think about where they were, and consider it best to overlook the matter--- so often the case in this world.


To me, there is practically no connection between believers asking for divine help in some difficult task (the surgery team), and someone characterizing a major chunk of someone else's life in terms of their own beliefs (the pre-concert prayer). They just aren't the same sort of thing. At all. One is a prayer for oneself, and the other is a definition of somebody else in one's own religious terms. Just imagine if Mr. Tao himself had done the prayer - the sense of it would be completely different, IMO. Not necessarily better, but it would be totally different.

And I wouldn't define a secular concert offered to the paying public as part of a large concert series as "private", regardless of the venue. It's a public event, in every way that matters. As I said before in this thread, I've been to a lot of concerts in actual churches where there was no prayer before the concert; this venue isn't even a church.

BTW, I have a relative who very easily might pray for a taco salad recipe. She does stuff like that all the time. It seems to work for her, so I won't fault her for doing it. But I have to say that when she refuses to accept rational thought as valid in the rest of us, it does get annoying at times.

Posted By: wr Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 09:02 AM
Originally Posted by Pogorelich.
Of course it's offensive. Thanking god for this recital? Did god work and practice, or did I? If that happened to me I'd leave and say "if you're thanking god for my 'talent' and this recital, god is surely great enough to present you with an evening of music without me being here. Then the gratitude would be justified."


Very good!

As this thread rolls on, I am getting more and more curious about exactly how much Mr. Tao knew before the event. If the organizers were kind-hearted, they probably told him pretty much what to expect - it's apparently not a surprise to locals. But if they didn't, they were certainly risking a poor reaction on the part of the performer. I can well imagine something like that, if unexpected, casting a real pall over the performer for a good part of the performance.



Posted By: Verbum mirabilis Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 09:17 AM
"The Babel fish,"said The Hittchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy quietly, "is small, yellow and leechlike, and probably the oddest thin g in the Universe. It feeds on brainwave energy received not from its own carrier but from those around it. It absorbs all unconscious mental frequencies with nerve signals picked up from the speech of the brain which has supplied them. The practical upshot of all this us that if you stick a Babel fish in your ear you can instantle understand anything said to you in any form of language. The speech patterns you actually hear desode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish."
"Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincedence that anything so mind-bogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of of the
nonexistence of God."
"The argument goes something like this: 'I refuse to prove that I exist,' says God, 'for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.'"
"'But,' says Man, 'the Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own argumentation you don't. QED'
"'Oh dear,' says God 'I hadn't thought of that,' and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.
"'Oh, that was easy,' says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing."


-Douglas Adams: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Posted By: wr Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 09:25 AM
Originally Posted by Andromaque
How about taking it graciously as a well intended compliment?


Because that's not what it is. It's mindless pro forma faux-piety, and the person giving it could probably do it in their sleep. I grew up around this kind of stuff, and can recognize it from miles away. It is required ritual, and hardly sincere. It's a way of claiming the performer as part of their beliefs, by marking the event as theirs and not the performer's. "It is our deity that gave us this performer tonight and certainly not anything this person could have done all on their own volition." You may not find that demeaning; I do.



Posted By: wr Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 09:31 AM
Originally Posted by Verbum mirabilis
"...and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing."


And it wouldn't surprise if mankind indeed isn't killed in the next "zebra crossing", which we collectively appear to have stepped into right about now.

Posted By: Pogorelich. Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 12:45 PM
Originally Posted by Andromaque


Goodness me! That is kind of intolerant, pogo! A musician offers her music to all humanity regardless of their creed. How about taking it graciously as a well intended compliment? What do you loose? As far as not recognizing the hard work and practice, I have news for you. When and if you start performing to capacity audience in major halls, you should know that many of the folks who will applaud or even give you a standing ovation, probably think you are just talented and have no idea that you slaved for hours over the music. What are you going to do? walk out on them too?


So we need to support ignorance since so many other people are ignorant already anyway? What kind of logic is that? So my stand as a non-theist is offensive, but someone saying an open prayer about a non-theist should be non offensive and tolerated gracefully? I'm sorry, but it's a two way street.

Why is it so ordinary for Americans to see this kind of stuff as, well, ordinary? Time to update already, like some of the rest of the world.

(btw, lose*)
Posted By: Andromaque Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 01:08 PM
Originally Posted by Pogorelich

So we need to support ignorance since so many other people are ignorant already anyway? What kind of logic is that? So my stand as a non-theist is offensive, but someone saying an open prayer about a non-theist should be non offensive and tolerated gracefully? I'm sorry, but it's a two way street.

Why is it so ordinary for Americans to see this kind of stuff as, well, ordinary? Time to update already, like some of the rest of the world.

(btw, lose*)


I am afraid that is not how things work, I am pretty sure.
As for "updating", the US and the world have been busy doing that, but not along your ways of thinking.
At any rate, a modicum of public relations savoir-faire would strongly discourage your attitude in a performer. You need the public more than they need you. You ought to learn to love them, ignorance and all. It is one of the secrets of a successful career, IMHO.

Thanks for noticing my typo..
Posted By: Kreisler Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 01:35 PM
If a religious institution is tolerant enough to host a non-theist's concert, then the non-theist should be tolerant enough to present that concert graciously.
Posted By: lilylady Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 01:55 PM
Interesting thread.

Could a non believer be a church organist?

The answer is yes. And graciously accept the belief of others.
Posted By: Orange Soda King Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 02:43 PM
Originally Posted by Kreisler
If a religious institution is tolerant enough to host a non-theist's concert, then the non-theist should be tolerant enough to present that concert graciously.


Exactly.
Posted By: nocturne152 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 03:03 PM
Originally Posted by polyphasicpianist
Also, from a empirical point of view, if you are making a claim about a invisible elephant in the room, then a charge of unfalsifiability is perfectly legitimate.


Yes, of course it's legitimate - but the "invisible elephant" argument is fallacious. I just gave you an example, which was proving my consciousness to you. It fundamentally can't be done. So why would you even bother to think that I am conscious if it's impossible to know for sure? - because you can assume that I am based on my actions! It LOOKS as if I am conscious, therefor - you can give me the benefit of the doubt. The same goes for my beliefs in a super-conscious world or "God realm". There's no way to prove it's existence (just as someone's consciousness) but I have suspicions as to believe it is true based on my observations of the universe and philosophical thinking. See the correlation? grin
Posted By: pianoloverus Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 03:39 PM
Originally Posted by Kreisler
If a religious institution is tolerant enough to host a non-theist's concert, then the non-theist should be tolerant enough to present that concert graciously.


Originally Posted by lilylady
And graciously accept the belief of others.


Strongly agree with both of these.

Posted By: Andromaque Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 03:42 PM
Obviously these discussions go back thousands of years. The issue of faith vs reason has pre-occupied humanity for all its history. I suspect it will remain so for a few more thousand years, if not eternally. Two thousand years ago, Saint Paul recognized this concern and put an end to the discussion essentially by stating that " Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." He also says -and I am paraphrasing- that faith and reason follow different paths of proof. I dare say that the same applies to all religion. Each of us chooses the path that best fits their consciousness. In the big picture it probably matters little.
Posted By: polyphasicpianist Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 03:54 PM
Originally Posted by Nikolas

Polyphasicpianist: I truly fail to see how the image and the 3 videos show anything other than what people believe and nothing about the actual existance of gawd. It remains that they act this way because of their belief regardless of it's there or not...


First, lets clarify what we are talking about when we talk of God. The kind of God being talked about here is not a desist or pantheistic conception of God. The kind of God we are talking about is a theistic God of the kind represented by the three major monotheistic religions. This is a God who cares deeply about things like prayer, sex, circumcision, and holds an approving eye towards divine instances of genocide and righteous instances of human sacrifice. This is the God our neighbors, whether they realize it or not, are technically praying to every sunday in Church. Belief in this sort of God has real world consequences, of which that picture and those videos were meant to convey, and this belief is inextricably tied up with the notion of his actual existence. An existence which, if rationally denied, necessarily removes much of the motivation and justification derived from scripture - the inerrant word of God. That is why, when you said "what does it matter if their is a Gawd?," I posted them.

Though, I should add for clarification (and I am sorry if this is a digression from your post Nikolas) that we can take comfort in the fact that the vast majority of people who consider themselves "believers" in the civilized western world are largely ignorant, or at the very least "highly selective," of actual Biblical and Koranic teachings. Most people have never bothered to actually read their Bible, or if they have it has only been the few selected verses preached to them in sunday school and from the pulpit. However, it is when people start taking this stuff seriously that we begin to see these grotesque ethical and intellectual failures (which can be perpetrated en masse or individually) depicted in the things I posted. This is why we should not shy away from the question of God or religion, lest we give offense. The fact is when you start talking of suicide bombers, homophobes, molestation, etc. offense will undoubtedly be taken because you are emphatically stating to people that the very texts which they purport to cherish help spawn and justify these monstrous behaviors.
Posted By: Cinnamonbear Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 03:57 PM
Originally Posted by Andromaque[...
At any rate, a modicum of public relations savoir-faire would strongly discourage your attitude in a performer. You need the public more than they need you. You ought to learn to love them, ignorance and all. It is one of the secrets of a successful career, IMHO. [...]


Tolerance is, of course, the issue, as is, perhaps, how people behave in polite society. I would imagine a classical piano concert, where formal rules of polite society abound, would be the last place where there would be a scene because of a possible breach of a social grace. So unless a performer is loaded for bear, doesn't it make sense that he/she would let a simple prayer roll off, like water off a duck's back?

Some people, life's circumstances and prior personal experiences being what they are, are primed to take offense at certain things. It can be like a reflex. Discussions like the one in this thread can be a helpful part of working out one's values. People are so darned complicated! eek
Posted By: nocturne152 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 04:01 PM
Originally Posted by polyphasicpianist
Originally Posted by Nikolas

Polyphasicpianist: I truly fail to see how the image and the 3 videos show anything other than what people believe and nothing about the actual existance of gawd. It remains that they act this way because of their belief regardless of it's there or not...


First, lets clarify what we are talking about when we talk of God. The kind of God being talked about here is not a desist or pantheistic conception of God. The kind of God we are talking about is a theistic God of the kind represented by the three major monotheistic religions. This is a God who cares deeply about things like prayer, sex, circumcision, and holds an approving eye towards divine instances of genocide and righteous instances of human sacrifice. This is the God our neighbors, whether they realize it or not, are technically praying to every sunday in Church. Belief in this sort of God has real world consequences, of which that picture and those videos were meant to convey, and this belief is inextricably tied up with the notion of his actual existence. An existence which, if rationally denied, necessarily removes much of the motivation and justification derived from scripture - the inerrant word of God. That is why, when you said "what does it matter if their is a Gawd?," I posted them.

Though, I should add for clarification (and I am sorry if this is a digression from your post Nikolas) that we can take comfort in the fact that the vast majority of people who consider themselves "believers" in the civilized western world are largely ignorant, or at the very least "highly selective," of actual Biblical and Koranic teachings. Most people have never bothered to actually read their Bible, or if they have it has only been the few selected verses preached to them in sunday school and from the pulpit. However, it is when people start taking this stuff seriously that we begin to see these grotesque ethical and intellectual failures (which can be perpetrated en masse or individually) depicted in the things I posted. This is why we should not shy away from the question of God or religion, lest we give offense. The fact is when you start talking of suicide bombers, homophobes, molestation, etc. offense will undoubtedly be taken because you are emphatically stating to people that the very texts which they purport to cherish help spawn and justify these monstrous behaviors.


You can't judge the existence of higher existence by the religious books man has created. Men naturally have bias, anger, jealousy, etc - and also good traits too. BUT, the negative actions due to "God" on this planet are not due to god, but to human thinking alone. What if there was no religion? Would there be no violence? Hint hint.. there still would be. People would find excuses for it, whatever they may be.
Posted By: polyphasicpianist Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 04:06 PM
Originally Posted by Andromaque
Obviously these discussions go back thousands of years. The issue of faith vs reason has pre-occupied humanity for all its history. I suspect it will remain so for a few more thousand years, if not eternally. Two thousand years ago, Saint Paul recognized this concern and put an end to the discussion essentially by stating that " Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." He also says -and I am paraphrasing- that faith and reason follow different paths of proof. I dare say that the same applies to all religion. Each of us chooses the path that best fits their consciousness. In the big picture it probably matters little.


Faith is not a good thing, it may be unavoidable in a lot of cases but it is not something to be esteemed for its own sake. Sam Harris put it best when he said:

"The problem with faith, is that it really is a conversation stopper. Faith is a declaration of immunity to the powers of conversation. It is a reason, why you do not have to give reasons, for what you believe."

"It is time that we admitted that faith is nothing more than the license religious people give one another to keep believing when reasons fail.”
Posted By: Cinnamonbear Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 04:10 PM
Originally Posted by Andromaque
Obviously these discussions go back thousands of years. The issue of faith vs reason has pre-occupied humanity for all its history. I suspect it will remain so for a few more thousand years, if not eternally. Two thousand years ago, Saint Paul recognized this concern and put an end to the discussion essentially by stating that " Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." He also says -and I am paraphrasing- that faith and reason follow different paths of proof.


Thank you for pointing this out. It is an important distinction which, personally, I have found to be true. Paul also said -and I am paraphrasing- don't leave reason at the door. Exercise it. Faith and reason work together to keep things sane. Where things get insane, citing here polyphasic's picture and youtube clips above, is when faith and reason get badly out of balance.

Originally Posted by Andromaque
[...] In the big picture it probably matters little.


I cannot say that I agree with this, though I cannot prove why, other than to point to polyphasic's picture and youtube clips, again.
Posted By: nocturne152 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 04:12 PM
Did you miss my reply?
Posted By: polyphasicpianist Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 04:19 PM
Originally Posted by lostaccato
You can't judge the existence of higher existence by the religious books man has created. Men naturally have bias, anger, jealousy, etc - and also good traits too. BUT, the negative actions due to "God" on this planet are not due to god, but to human thinking alone. What if there was no religion? Would there be no violence? Hint hint.. there still would be. People would find excuses for it, whatever they may be.


I am in total agreement with everything you say here. But you simply cannot ignore the fact that a huge amount of violence and unreason are derived and motivated explicitly from supposedly "sacred" texts. I concede that in a world free of religion there would still be violence, but I don't concede that the violence would be equal to the levels we currently see. If people all of a sudden put down their Bibles and Korans and began studying the works of Plato, Confucius, Hume, Bentham, ect. I find it hard to believe that the violence we see in the world would not be greatly diminished.

To quote Sam Harris again:
“I know of no society in human history that ever suffered because its people became too desirous of evidence in support of their core beliefs.”
Posted By: nocturne152 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 04:38 PM
Originally Posted by polyphasicpianist
Originally Posted by lostaccato
You can't judge the existence of higher existence by the religious books man has created. Men naturally have bias, anger, jealousy, etc - and also good traits too. BUT, the negative actions due to "God" on this planet are not due to god, but to human thinking alone. What if there was no religion? Would there be no violence? Hint hint.. there still would be. People would find excuses for it, whatever they may be.


I am in total agreement with everything you say here. But you simply cannot ignore the fact that a huge amount of violence and unreason are derived and motivated explicitly from supposedly "sacred" texts. I concede that in a world free of religion there would still be violence, but I don't concede that the violence would be equal to the levels we currently see. If people all of a sudden put down their Bibles and Korans and began studying the works of Plato, Confucius, Hume, Bentham, ect. I find it hard to believe that the violence we see in the world would not be greatly diminished.

To quote Sam Harris again:
“I know of no society in human history that ever suffered because its people became too desirous of evidence in support
of their core beliefs.”



I am in agreement. Even though there would be less violence without religion, the "sacred texts" are still man's own writing and creation - and shouldn't be used to judge 'god' at all, only man. Philosophers, myself included, look at religion and religious books to be the most juvenile, sorry excuse for evidence of god there is.

I don't know if you missed it or you're ignoring it - but I replied to you way up there^^^^^ the one with the " grin " at the end. Do you mind taking a look at that and giving me your thoughts? smile
Posted By: Cinnamonbear Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 04:43 PM
Originally Posted by polyphasicpianist
Faith is not a good thing, it may be unavoidable in a lot of cases but it is not something to be esteemed for its own sake. Sam Harris put it best when he said:

"The problem with faith, is that it really is a conversation stopper. Faith is a declaration of immunity to the powers of conversation. It is a reason, why you do not have to give reasons, for what you believe."

"It is time that we admitted that faith is nothing more than the license religious people give one another to keep believing when reasons fail.”


At a certain level of discourse, this is true. But if you were to press some people who declare Christian faith* as an integral part of their decision-making/acting/living, at a personal level, you might find that they can explain how faith has not failed them, but helped them proceed with good progress. In fact, they could provide you very concrete examples, and may even be able to point to ways in which their decisions, based on their faith, consequently helped other people as well.

(*I had to qualify that, because I don't know about other faiths, other than to say that I think everybody puts faith in something, even if it is reason! grin )

Originally Posted by polyphasicpianist
However, it is when people start taking this stuff seriously that we begin to see these grotesque ethical and intellectual failures (which can be perpetrated en masse or individually) depicted in the things I posted. This is why we should not shy away from the question of God or religion, lest we give offense. The fact is when you start talking of suicide bombers, homophobes, molestation, etc. offense will undoubtedly be taken because you are emphatically stating to people that the very texts which they purport to cherish help spawn and justify these monstrous behaviors.


I see this as a question about the spiritual forces of "good" vs. "evil," and how these forces influence people's decision making rather than an implication of any given system of beliefs.
Posted By: Dave Horne Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 04:57 PM
Originally Posted by lilylady
Interesting thread.

Could a non believer be a church organist?

The answer is yes. And graciously accept the belief of others.


I was an atheist when I was 15 or so and also a church organist. I just did it for the money. smile
Posted By: polyphasicpianist Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 05:17 PM
Originally Posted by lostaccato
Originally Posted by polyphasicpianist
Also, from a empirical point of view, if you are making a claim about a invisible elephant in the room, then a charge of unfalsifiability is perfectly legitimate.


Yes, of course it's legitimate - but the "invisible elephant" argument is fallacious. I just gave you an example, which was proving my consciousness to you. It fundamentally can't be done. So why would you even bother to think that I am conscious if it's impossible to know for sure? - because you can assume that I am based on my actions! It LOOKS as if I am conscious, therefor - you can give me the benefit of the doubt. The same goes for my beliefs in a super-conscious world or "God realm". There's no way to prove it's existence (just as someone's consciousness) but I have suspicions as to believe it is true based on my observations of the universe and philosophical thinking. See the correlation? grin


Sorry, I did not see this post initially.

I, personally, bother to assume/believe you are conscious only insofar as it is useful for me to think so. I wouldn't make it very far in life if I held the opposite (nor would anyone else I think) which I think is a good enough justification for my belief in you possessing a consciousness. Combine this with other evidence such as the fact that you are the member of the same species as I am, that we share the same basic physiological traits, etc, and I don't think an attribution of consciousness is altogether unreasonable. Do I know with certainty that you are conscious? Of course not, nor do I pretend know this with certainty.

You say you have suspicions to believe God is true based on your observations and philosophical thinking. May I press you to reveal what these are? And is this God a scriptural/theistic one?
Posted By: polyphasicpianist Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 05:47 PM
Originally Posted by Cinnamonbear
At a certain level of discourse, this is true. But if you were to press some people who declare Christian faith* as an integral part of their decision-making/acting/living, at a personal level, you might find that they can explain how faith has not failed them, but helped them proceed with good progress. In fact, they could provide you very concrete examples, and may even be able to point to ways in which their decisions, based on their faith, consequently helped other people as well.

(*I had to qualify that, because I don't know about other faiths, other than to say that I think everybody puts faith in something, even if it is reason! grin )


There is no might about it, people can and have explained to me how faith has helped them. They usually cite things like the sermon on the mount and a few other nice passages from the bible, but their knowledge of scripture usually does not extend beyond these few passages and that is the inherent problem. There is an apathy and selective process when it comes to scripture that forces us to be tolerant of it and allow the bigotry and hatred of the truly devoted to thrive. I have no doubt that faith has helped people, but this help has been of a superficial nature, driven largely by their own ignorance of the very religion they profess to believe. The analogy of a placebo is partially apt here. When people don't understand what it is they are consuming, placebos can be remarkably effective but this is no basis to start prescribing them as a legitimate medical treatment.

“We can either have a twenty-first-century conversation about morality and the human well-being - a conversation in which we avail ourselves of all scientific insights and philosophical arguments that have accumulated in the last two thousand years of human discourse - or we can confine ourselves to a first-century conversation as it is preserved in the Bible.” - Sam Harris

Originally Posted by Cinnamonbear

I see this as a question about the spiritual forces of "good" vs. "evil," and how these forces influence people's decision making rather than an implication of any given system of beliefs.


You lost me at "spiritual force." wink
Posted By: nocturne152 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 06:21 PM
Originally Posted by polyphasicpianist


You say you have suspicions to believe God is true based on your observations and philosophical thinking. May I press you to reveal what these are? And is this God a scriptural/theistic one?


I was raised in a Christian church, but like I mentioned - to me, religions are juvenile and mostly nonsense. I'm a much bigger fan of history, philosophy and science. All three of which I study in my free time, with the exception of philosophy - which is running through my mind all the time. My beliefs are as follows:

I think we are "avatars" in a computed reality. When I began studying quantum mechanics it dawned on my how strikingly it resembles numbers, values and programming. When putting this together with how extremely fine-tuned the universe is and consciousness, it all seemed clear. It appears that our consciousness, the real us, whatever it may be, doesn't come from this universe. How could it? It doesn't even make sense to claim that it's a chemical reaction of matter. But anyway, I like to make the analogy of dreaming and being awake. When we dream, we are at a much lower state of consciousness, when we awake we become much more conscious and at a state of reality that could have never been imagined while we were dreaming, because our experiences during dreams are fundamentally less "real". It makes sense to me that when we die, we enter into the next level up. "Super-consciousness" I like to call it. This being the "god realm". And we can't even imagine what it's like in the super-conscious realm because we are fundamentally stuck in a less "real" existence as of now. This would imply that we have existed before birth and will exist after death. When I share these thoughts with people, they always ask me, "if we were consciously existing before birth, why can't we remember it?" My answer to that is always, "when you are dreaming, can you think of before you fell asleep? And when you are dreaming, can you imagine what being awake is even like?" That usually opens their eyes.

So in conclusion:

-we're stuck in this conscious level, which is why "god" seems like the "invisible elephant" analogy (which is such a bogus, fallacious, naive comparison)

-we're consciousnesses placed into these avatars (kind of like a game, where the person playing is much more real than the character in the game)

-death of consciousness doesn't even make sense

-the universe is fine-tuned for life and quantum mechanics resembles programming

These are all my views and I claim none as fact.
Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 06:32 PM
Thank you for the pat on the back too Christine. That was nice.

I too heard people saying, the piano broke a string, it shouldn't do that! I was standing nearby and so I responded by saying, "how do you know?" Drummers break drum sticks when they hit them to hard. Violinists break strings too. Playing a piano that hard, will indeed, break strings therefore, the piano did not break a string, the performer broke it." But, it can be fixed. smile

Grand Rapids is FAR from being a backwards city. We have Amway here, with DeVos who is worth 4 Billion, VanAndle, who is worth 4 Billion dollars, Fred Meijer who owns the chain of Meijer grocery stores who was worth 5 billion and a whole lot more Billionaires and muti-millionaires who have contributed and still do contribute muli-millions into Grand Rapids to improve our city.

Fred Meijer has donated multi-millions to Spectrum Health Hospital along with many other places in Grand Rapids. They named new Spectrum Health Heart center after them.

Jay VanAndel has contributed multi-millions in the Arts of Grand Rapids and many other venues here along with millions for the Spectrum Health Hospital.

Rich DeVos starting about 15-20 years ago or so, had a goal of improving Spectrum Hospital to the point where it will be as good if not better than Mayo Clinic. At this point in time, they are well on their way to achieving that goal.

Currently we have the DeVos Children's Hospital which is attached to Spectrum Hospital. It is very well known for being one of the best children's hospitals in the country. We have people coming here from all over America just for the Children's hospital alone.

Rich DeVos and Jay VanAndle own Amway. They also built the Amway Grand Hotel downtown here and, own it. It is a very luxurious hotel in downtown Grand Rapids.

Directly across the street from that is the J.W. Marriott hotel.

We are an extremely diversified city that is NOT strictly dependent upon the auto industry. I have read many times in the news where "West Michigan" is the best part of Michigan to live because of our diversification. Because of so diversified, we are not affected nearly as much so by the bad economy that Michigan has been in since 2001.

We are fortunate to live in such a grand city.

By the way, last nights performance went wonderfully. I had tuned 2 pianos that were used together in combination with the Kalamazoo orchestra and the Grand Rapids symphony. Both of the pianists are extremely nice and gracious ladies. And yes, they did pray prior to the start of the program. The president of the college said the prayer this time.
Posted By: Cinnamonbear Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 06:38 PM
Originally Posted by polyphasicpianist
Originally Posted by Cinnamonbear

I see this as a question about the spiritual forces of "good" vs. "evil," and how these forces influence people's decision making rather than an implication of any given system of beliefs.


You lost me at "spiritual force." wink


Haha! Good one! grin

Originally Posted by polyphasicpianist
There is an apathy and selective process when it comes to scripture that forces us to be tolerant of it and allow the bigotry and hatred of the truly devoted to thrive.


You lost me at "forces us." wink
Posted By: Andromaque Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 06:55 PM
Originally Posted by polyphasicpianist


Faith is not a good thing, it may be unavoidable in a lot of cases but it is not something to be esteemed for its own sake. Sam Harris put it best when he said:

"The problem with faith, is that it really is a conversation stopper. Faith is a declaration of immunity to the powers of conversation. It is a reason, why you do not have to give reasons, for what you believe."

"It is time that we admitted that faith is nothing more than the license religious people give one another to keep believing when reasons fail.”


You may not like it or agree with it, but that is how it works. Thus the vast empty spaces between the supporters and the dissenters in this conversation. Of course many people hang out in between.
Posted By: polyphasicpianist Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 07:04 PM
Originally Posted by lostaccato
. . . My beliefs are as follows . . .


Thank you for the honest answer. While I can't say I agree with everything you wrote here, I don't think it would be altogether useful to question your views in this instance in any rigorous way (and have you challenge these objections equally as rigorously, I am sure) since I think you are advocating something clearly very different than the standard conception of God that your average sunday worshiper is praying to and the conception in which I am, at any rate, arguing against.
Posted By: Mark_C Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 07:30 PM
Sort of off topic for the thread, but not for piano:
This thread shows the value of having a technician present at recitals. It's great that it was done at these performances; it's far from routine. I don't know for sure how often it is or isn't done, but my impression is, not enough. I've even been at amateur competitions where it wasn't done, sometimes with the expected consequences. help
Posted By: Cinnamonbear Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 08:50 PM
Originally Posted by polyphasicpianist
[...] I have no doubt that faith has helped people, but this help has been of a superficial nature, driven largely by their own ignorance of the very religion they profess to believe.


...Anyway, this is a generalization, right? If you have not yet encountered someone for whom faith has been profoundly helpful (as opposed to superficially helpful), then I think you may have stopped asking people for their stories too soon. And it is possible (and probable) that even as you have determined someone's faith to be superficial, that person's "little faith" can, when practiced in increments over time, result in more profound faith, and insights, and clarifications, and important personal adjustments smile down the line that can also have profound positive implications for others many times removed from the person of a once, or still, little faith. One has to be open to faith, though, for it to work. Something about being "tender-hearted." Which is why it really is so personal. I'm really not trying to be an apologist, here. I tend to suspend judgement a lot, though, as in, "I'm not so sure what I think about that, yet," because I am so limited in what I can really know about anything... Whether it is an interpersonal relationship or a political situation or what have you, there are so many unseen forces at play ("forces," in one sense, being the cumulative effects of past actions as they effect current actions) that making judgements about situations can be very dicey.

That said, there are times when one must draw the line and/or act. I do wish people would be a lot more understanding and treat each other better on the micro and macro levels. I am certainly not opposed to saying, "Stop hurting that person!," or, "Stop hurting those people!," or even, "Stop hurting me!" We all have our moments, I know, but, hey!
Posted By: Kreisler Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 09:14 PM
Exactly. I know quite a few people, atheist, agnostic, and otherwise, who routinely work church jobs for the money. But though they may have beliefs and lifestyles incompatible with the congregations they serve, all consider themselves professionals who are hired to do a job, and they do so with complete respect for those they serve. (And are often very, very good at what they do.)

Originally Posted by lilylady
Interesting thread.

Could a non believer be a church organist?

The answer is yes. And graciously accept the belief of others.
Posted By: wr Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 09:37 PM
Originally Posted by Kreisler
If a religious institution is tolerant enough to host a non-theist's concert, then the non-theist should be tolerant enough to present that concert graciously.


The issue isn't really that - I haven't heard anyone say that Mr. Tao did anything that was not gracious, or what belief system he subscribes to, if any. But anyway, you make it sound like there would be some kind of equivalency, where there isn't any.




Posted By: polyphasicpianist Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 09:37 PM
Originally Posted by Cinnamonbear


...Anyway, this is a generalization, right? If you have not yet encountered someone for whom faith has been profoundly helpful (as opposed to superficially helpful), then I think you may have stopped asking people for their stories too soon. And it is possible (and probable) that even as you have determined someone's faith to be superficial, that person's "little faith" can, when practiced in increments over time, result in more profound faith, and insights, and clarifications, and important personal adjustments smile down the line that can also have profound positive implications for others many times removed from the person of a once, or still, little faith. One has to be open to faith, though, for it to work. Something about being "tender-hearted." Which is why it really is so personal. I'm really not trying to be an apologist, here. I tend to suspend judgement a lot, though, as in, "I'm not so sure what I think about that, yet," because I am so limited in what I can really know about anything... Whether it is an interpersonal relationship or a political situation or what have you, there are so many unseen forces at play ("forces," in one sense, being the cumulative effects of past actions as they effect current actions) that making judgements about situations can be very dicey.

That said, there are times when one must draw the line and/or act. I do wish people would be a lot more understanding and treat each other better on the micro and macro levels. I am certainly not opposed to saying, "Stop hurting that person!," or, "Stop hurting those people!," or even, "Stop hurting me!" We all have our moments, I know, but, hey!


I am not going to lie, I don't quite grasp your argument here but, from what I can gather, it seems to me that you are incorrectly conflating the notion of "faith," i.e. the uncritical acceptance of something, with profound aspects of human subjectivity. The former does not entail the latter with anything even approximating necessity, though I am aware that many people do believe it does.

“Man is manifestly not the measure of all things. This universe is shot through with mystery. The very fact of its being, and of our own, is a mystery absolute, and the only miracle worthy of the name. The consciousness that animates us is itself central to this mystery and ground for any experience we may wish to call “spiritual.” No myth needs to be embraced for us to commune with the profundity of our circumstance. No personal God need be worshipped for us to live in awe at the beauty and immensity of creation. No tribal fictions need be rehearsed for us to realize, one fine day, that we do, in fact, love our neighbors, that our happiness is inextricable from their own, and that our interdependence demands that people everywhere be given the opportunity to flourish." - Sam Harris
Posted By: wr Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 09:58 PM
Originally Posted by GlassLove


Before his performance began, the individual who introduced Tao spoke briefly about him, then led the audience in prayer (apparently a general practice at all performances at Calvin). This prayer included thanking God for Conrad Tao's gifts.


Jesus scorned public prayer, anyway. It's always been interesting to me how many Christians seem to completely ignore what he had to say in the following couple of verses - I think that praying in front of an audience at a supposedly secular concert is exactly the kind of thing that he was talking about.

Matthew 6:

"5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

"6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."
Posted By: Andromaque Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 10:02 PM
..And that is hardly the only thing people ignore about His words and actions.
Posted By: wr Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 10:15 PM
Originally Posted by lilylady
Interesting thread.

Could a non believer be a church organist?

The answer is yes. And graciously accept the belief of others.


Well, some of them are gracious, at least publicly. I've heard some of them be less than gracious about it in private. But why would anyone let a little hypocrisy get in the way of earning money?

Back to Calvin - they don't allow non-believers on their faculty, so you couldn't teach organ there without being a Christian.
Posted By: Dave Horne Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 10:25 PM
Back to Calvin - they don't allow non-believers on their faculty, so you couldn't teach organ there without being a Christian.

So the advertisement might look like this ...

Organist position available ... non Christians need not apply
Posted By: polyphasicpianist Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 10:29 PM
Originally Posted by Andromaque
..And that is hardly the only thing people ignore about His words and actions.


Indeed. That is why everyone should actually sit down and carefully read the Bible, they might be shocked at what they actually find.
Posted By: Pogorelich. Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 10:30 PM
Originally Posted by Andromaque
Originally Posted by Pogorelich

So we need to support ignorance since so many other people are ignorant already anyway? What kind of logic is that? So my stand as a non-theist is offensive, but someone saying an open prayer about a non-theist should be non offensive and tolerated gracefully? I'm sorry, but it's a two way street.

Why is it so ordinary for Americans to see this kind of stuff as, well, ordinary? Time to update already, like some of the rest of the world.

(btw, lose*)


I am afraid that is not how things work, I am pretty sure.
As for "updating", the US and the world have been busy doing that, but not along your ways of thinking.
At any rate, a modicum of public relations savoir-faire would strongly discourage your attitude in a performer. You need the public more than they need you. You ought to learn to love them, ignorance and all. It is one of the secrets of a successful career, IMHO.

Thanks for noticing my typo..


Sorry, when people mix up lose with loose it bugs me, nothing personal smile

Yes we have to love our audience, of course you're right, and we have to take everything no matter what because we don't matter, our views shouldn't matter..............

But the original question was would it matter to you, would you care.... Not would you leave or whatever. Yes when it comes down to it, no matter how many balls I have, I'd still play the concert because I'm not rich enough to get fired from a gig or ruin my reputation, but yes it would bother me. Would a theist feel not bothered if the situation was reversed, and someone gave a 30 second lecture on how god is a fairy tale before a concert? Of course it would bother them.

But yes, if the institution was a religious one, of course it would be expected. And the artist should shut up and deal with anything that happens. Right?
Posted By: Pogorelich. Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 10:32 PM
Originally Posted by lilylady
Interesting thread.

Could a non believer be a church organist?

The answer is yes. And graciously accept the belief of others.


As an atheist, I worked for a church for 5 years. I still work for another one, on and off. They don't pay you to believe, they pay you to play music... which is what the job is.
Posted By: rocket88 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 10:42 PM
Originally Posted by wr
Jesus scorned public prayer, anyway. It's always been interesting to me how many Christians seem to completely ignore what he had to say in the following couple of verses - I think that praying in front of an audience at a supposedly secular concert is exactly the kind of thing that he was talking about.


Matthew 6:

"5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

"6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."


Two things.

First, Jesus did not prohibit public prayer.

Here is an example of Jesus praying in public: John 11:40-42

Quote
Jesus said to her, "Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God ?" 41 So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 "I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me."John 11:40


Second, the reason Jesus said not to pray in public in Matthew 6 was to "not be like the hypocrites", who pray so others will see them pray, and think highly of them.

Jesus did scorn that style of public prayer; One commentary on that scripture explains:

Quote
The hypocrite wants others to think he loves and serves God, when he actually loves himself and wants the adoration and approval of others. The hypocrite will receive only the reward he seeks, and may not even receive that from those who understand his motivation. The hypocrite will not receive any reward from God in response to his prayers, because he is not really seeking a conversation with God.


Quote
But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:6)


From the same Bible commentary:

Quote
Some people do this literally and will not pray in public. Jesus does not forbid public praying, but He does warn against praying in public if our intention is wrong (seeking to be seen, for example).


The bottom line is that public prayers uttered so those in earshot think that the person is "spiritual" or godly, or whatever, are solely for the purpose of building up that person's reputation, etc, which is why Jesus said not to do it.

But public prayer is not "banned", and when the master of ceremonies at a concert at a Christian college opens with a prayer, that is a very different thing, somewhat similar to saying grace before a meal.
Posted By: Andromaque Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 10:46 PM
Originally Posted by Pogorelich
And the artist should shut up and deal with anything that happens. Right?


Yeah. Kinda. You could take it out on someone else later, say stores, over a few glases of wine. But in public, pretty smile and gracious demeanor. laugh
You did say that if it had happened to you, you would walk out.Thus my repsonse.
My whole point is that we cannot always change what other people think. I find public prayer to be annoying, too "show-offy", in the holier than thou line of thinking, pun intended. My solution to the problem would be to avoid or to ignore. I do not think that ignoring would be hypocritical as wr or perhaps you suggested, since you are not endorsing the behavior or the belief. Artists are hardly the only people who find themselves in uncomfortable situations. Many professionals do. You just deal with it while preserving your public image.
Having said that, they are in their right, on their turf. That is called freedom.
Would I have the same reaction to beliefs that are more foreign and hostile to me than Christianity? It would be more challenging, but I would.

PS. I am not lecturing you Pogo. Just thinking loud.
Posted By: Dave Horne Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 10:52 PM
Oh please, let's not quote the Scriptures.

On a lighter note, I only learned about this British comedian quite recently. The following is priceless ...

Posted By: rocket88 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 10:57 PM
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
Oh please, let's not quote the Scriptures. rk[/video]


Why not? You did not complain when PP repeatedly quoted the athiest Sam Harris.
Posted By: wr Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 10:57 PM
Originally Posted by rocket88
Originally Posted by wr
Jesus scorned public prayer, anyway. It's always been interesting to me how many Christians seem to completely ignore what he had to say in the following couple of verses - I think that praying in front of an audience at a supposedly secular concert is exactly the kind of thing that he was talking about.


Matthew 6:

"5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

"6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."


Two things.

First, Jesus did not prohibit public prayer.

Here is an example of Jesus praying in public: John 11:40-42

Quote
Jesus said to her, "Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God ?" 41 So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 "I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me."John 11:40


Second, the reason Jesus said not to pray in public in Matthew 6 was to "not be like the hypocrites", who pray so others will see them pray, and think highly of them.

One commentary on that scripture:

Quote
The hypocrite wants others to think he loves and serves God, when he actually loves himself and wants the adoration and approval of others. The hypocrite will receive only the reward he seeks, and may not even receive that from those who understand his motivation. The hypocrite will not receive any reward from God in response to his prayers, because he is not really seeking a conversation with God.


Quote
But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:6)


From the same Bible commentary:

Quote
Some people do this literally and will not pray in public. Jesus does not forbid public praying, but He does warn against praying in public if our intention is wrong (seeking to be seen, for example).


The bottom line is that public prayers uttered so those in earshot think that the person is "spiritual" or godly, or whatever, are solely for the purpose of building up that person's reputation, etc, which is why Jesus said not to do it.

But public prayer is not "banned", and when the master of ceremonies at a concert at a Christian college opens with a prayer, that is a very different thing, somewhat similar to saying grace before a meal.


None of which changes anything, AFAIAC. I'm quite used to these sorts of rationalizations being made by believers. The ones regarding money and property are the most fun.




Posted By: Dave Horne Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 10:59 PM
Originally Posted by rocket88
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
Oh please, let's not quote the Scriptures. rk[/video]


Why not? You did not complain when PP repeatedly quoted the athiest Sam Harris.


At least we have proof that Sam Harris said what was quoted.

Everything that Jesus said, was supposed to have said, or would have liked to have said, was written down 40 to 70 years after His death by individuals who never met Him.
Posted By: rocket88 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 11:03 PM
Originally Posted by wr
None of which changes anything, AFAIAC. I'm quite used to these sorts of rationalizations being made by believers. The ones regarding money and property are the most fun.


Well, if you are going to cherry pick scriptures to make you point, and ignore other scriptures that do not make your point, and dismiss Biblical commentary that is in basically in agreement with your point, then conversation is not possible.
Posted By: rocket88 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 11:04 PM
Originally Posted by Dave Horne


Everything that Jesus said, was supposed to have said, or would have liked to have said, was written down 40 to 70 years after His death by individuals who never met Him.


Dave, you are are seriously misinformed. The Apostle John wrote the Book of John, plus the books of John 1, John 2 and John 3 in the Bible, and the entire book of Revelations.

He was known as Jesus' "Favorite" Apostle.

Matthew, Mark, and Luke were other Apostles of Jesus, and all four (including John) lived and traveled with Jesus for 3 plus years.
Posted By: Dave Horne Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 11:29 PM
Those Books are attributed to the individuals named but there's no proof that in fact they wrote them. Also, from what remains from that time, there is no mention of Jesus, the Son of God, with Mary, the Virgin Mother. There is a scarcity of documents and considering just how important He was, you'd think documents from that period would have _more_ written about these miraculous events. .

On the other hand, I only have to go back to 1963 when John F. Kennedy was assassinated in front of hundreds of eyewitnesses ... captured on film, one audio recording, countless books written, films made, and we don't know exactly what transpired ... and that was in my lifetime, but we go back 2,000 years and you're willing to accept 'evidence' on scanty scribblings?

You are free to believe what you believe but try and put the scarcity of 'proof' in perspective.

If you're going to believe the Scriptures, put some spin on the graves opening up after the Resurrection (Matthew 27:52) and the zombies walking around. Matt wrote that. smile

Why is it, the most ludicrous events never get played up?
Posted By: rocket88 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/06/12 11:52 PM
Originally Posted by DaveHorne
If you're going to believe the Scriptures, put some spin on the graves opening up after the Resurrection (Matthew 27:52) and the zombies walking around. Matt wrote that.

Why is it, the most ludicrous events never get played up?



They do, I have heard that example described in church. BTW, it is not "Zombies" laugh but people who have died, and are now going to heaven.

Regarding the validity of the Bible, if you study the proofs that the Bible is true, there is lots and lots of information, including Archaeology, and a huge amount of written examples; for example,

Over 20,000 known manuscripts document the New Testament text. This makes the New Testament the most reliable document of antiquity (a document written before the printing press).

These manuscripts vary in size from a part of a page to an entire Bible (Old and New Testaments). The earliest New Testament manuscripts date from the second century (100-199) AD

These manuscript copies were written in different languages by people of different nationalities, cultures, and backgrounds. In spite of all those differences between them, the New Testament texts all agree. That is, those differences that we do observe between these hand written documents are occasional changes in the spelling of names or isolated cases of missing or changed words, which do not alter the meaning at all.

It is nice that this thread has remained quite civil. Quite an accomplishment. Us mice can play nicely!

Thats all I have to say.
Posted By: Dave Horne Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/07/12 12:02 AM
Any comment on what Matt wrote ... (Matthew 27:52) ... since you mentioned him by name to support what you believe transpired in the bigger picture?

The New Testament texts might agree with each other but where are the supporting documents for such miraculous events?

You can't pick and choose, you either take everything on faith ... or question the bits that are ludicrous ... and I'm being polite here. So, what do you think? The graves opened up and we had a handful ... or more ... of zombies walking around Jerusalem or its 'burbs'? You believe that ... or do you pick and choose? This is not a rhetorical question.
Posted By: wr Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/07/12 12:18 AM
Originally Posted by rocket88
Originally Posted by wr
None of which changes anything, AFAIAC. I'm quite used to these sorts of rationalizations being made by believers. The ones regarding money and property are the most fun.


Well, if you are going to cherry pick scriptures to make you point, and ignore other scriptures that do not make your point, and dismiss Biblical commentary that is in basically in agreement with your point, then conversation is not possible.


The other scripture didn't address the point, which was not about whether public prayer was somehow forbidden. So it is "cherry-picking" when I choose a quote to make a point (and why on earth would I choose one that didn't make my point?). But it is not cherry-picking when you do, if I understand you correctly. Interesting.

The commentary was about trying to limit the issue to a very particular kind a prayer in order for people to get all cozy with the idea that what they did when they prayed in public wasn't necessarily that kind of "bad" praying. Or, most importantly, at least nobody else observing that prayer would be able to say it was, simply because it was done in public. In other words, it is the usual kind of dodge to make sure that what is reported as something Jesus said doesn't apply to them, not really.

It has been almost two thousand years now during which church culture has been busy fine tuning this kind of stuff (starting with the very choice of which words to put into Jesus' mouth when first writing it down, and which writing was acceptable and which was not). So I am not expecting to come up with any argument against that pre-concert prayer that doesn't have dozens of well-honed counter-arguments. But that still doesn't grant it some kind of exception from the exhortation to hide in a closet to pray, IMO.



Posted By: wr Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/07/12 12:27 AM
Originally Posted by rocket88

Regarding the validity of the Bible, if you study the proofs that the Bible is true, there is lots and lots of information, including Archaeology, and a huge amount of written examples; for example,

Over 20,000 known manuscripts document the New Testament text. This makes the New Testament the most reliable document of antiquity (a document written before the printing press).

These manuscripts vary in size from a part of a page to an entire Bible (Old and New Testaments). The earliest New Testament manuscripts date from the second century (100-199) AD

These manuscript copies were written in different languages by people of different nationalities, cultures, and backgrounds. In spite of all those differences between them, the New Testament texts all agree. That is, those differences that we do observe between these hand written documents are occasional changes in the spelling of names or isolated cases of missing or changed words, which do not alter the meaning at all.



Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John don't even agree - there's a whole genre of scholarly writing about the differences and what they mean.



Posted By: polyphasicpianist Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/07/12 12:37 AM
Originally Posted by rocket88


Regarding the validity of the Bible, if you study the proofs that the Bible is true, there is lots and lots of information, including Archaeology, and a huge amount of written examples; for example,

Over 20,000 known manuscripts document the New Testament text. This makes the New Testament the most reliable document of antiquity (a document written before the printing press).


What are you referring to here? Document it how? Are you referring to scholarship which validates the historical accuracy of texts? Or are you referring to contemporary texts of the age which speak of Jesus? And what archaeology are you talking about? There is no Roman record of Jesus' crucifixion, he left no belongings, there is no verifiable family lineage. There is nothing. The only reason he is presumed to have existed at all by scholars is because it is more parsimonious to assume his existence in order to explain the origins of the Gospel texts than if he had not existed (and this is not, by the way, an admission of divinity by scholars). In the same way, there is doubt about the existence of Homer, but historians by and large just assume he was real because it is the simplest explanation to fill in the historical gaps.

Originally Posted by rocket88

In spite of all those differences between them, the New Testament texts all agree.


But they don't agree. There are countless inconsistencies between the authors. There are entire books written about this fact alone.
Posted By: polyphasicpianist Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/07/12 12:40 AM
Jinx, you owe me a coke WR!
Posted By: nocturne152 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/07/12 12:43 AM
Originally Posted by rocket88
Us mice can play nicely!



We are not mice.
Posted By: rocket88 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/07/12 12:46 AM
Originally Posted by lostaccato
Originally Posted by rocket88
Us mice can play nicely!



We are not mice.


Lighten up, dude!

I refer to an earlier post about how the mod was away to not moderate a thread about religion, and someone said that "while the cat is away, the mice will play."

Posted By: rocket88 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/07/12 12:48 AM
This really is my last post on this thread.

For those who want a book explaining the alleged inconsistencies and so forth of the Bible, this is a good one.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/has...19701&itm=2&usri=hank+hanegraaff
Posted By: nocturne152 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/07/12 12:54 AM
Originally Posted by rocket88


Lighten up, dude!

I refer to an earlier post about how the mod was away to not moderate a thread about religion, and someone said that "while the cat is away, the mice will play."



I'm pretty sure we're all people. Mice can't even type so that proves you wrong!!
Posted By: wr Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/07/12 01:20 AM
Originally Posted by rocket88
This really is my last post on this thread.

For those who want a book explaining the alleged inconsistencies and so forth of the Bible, this is a good one.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/has...19701&itm=2&usri=hank+hanegraaff


The comments at that link from those not in the choir are interesting. And to some extent, from those in the choir, too, although perhaps not as they intended.

Posted By: nocturne152 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/07/12 01:37 AM
This thread = 175 posts as of now. thumb
Posted By: polyphasicpianist Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/07/12 02:28 AM
Originally Posted by rocket88
This really is my last post on this thread.

For those who want a book explaining the alleged inconsistencies and so forth of the Bible, this is a good one.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/has...19701&itm=2&usri=hank+hanegraaff


Do you know something, in the interest of fairness I think I shall read this book. Though, I must confess after reading the introduction on amazon's "look inside" function and seeing the sentence "apologetics is a discipline through which the validity of the virgin birth can be historically established" I don't foresee the scholarship of this book being altogether persuasive. This is made all the more salient by the fact that I am just currently finishing up the reading of Diarmaid Macculloch's book "Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years ," where the level Scholarship from the Oxford Professor is, for lack of a better word, impeccable.
Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/07/12 02:52 AM
Boy, after I don't know how many times some of you have said the burden of proof doesn't fall on you, you sure are going through a lot of trouble trying to prove he doesn't exist after all. Funny, I think anyway.... smile

In the end, there really is only one thing that will matter and that is this. When you die, you'd better hope that you are right. smile
Posted By: polyphasicpianist Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/07/12 03:37 AM
Originally Posted by Jerry Groot RPT
In the end, there really is only one thing that will matter and that is this. When you die, you'd better hope that you are right. smile


I have often wondered what a Christian's response would be when confronted with this very same statement from a Muslim.

- - - - - - - -


Posted By: Cinnamonbear Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/07/12 04:46 AM
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
Oh please, let's not quote the Scriptures.

On a lighter note, I only learned about this British comedian quite recently. The following is priceless ...



Dave, you might like this one, too. (Makes me laugh every time):


Posted By: stores Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/07/12 07:43 AM
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
Those Books are attributed to the individuals named but there's no proof that in fact they wrote them.


Love's Labour's Lost, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar,
Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, etc., etc. are all works attributed to Shakespeare, but there is no proof that he, in fact, wrote them. There is, in fact, an entire "school of thought" that questions his authorship.
Posted By: beet31425 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/07/12 07:52 AM
Originally Posted by stores
Love's Labour's Lost, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar,
Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, etc., etc. are all works attributed to Shakespeare...

A curious choice for what to list first; probably not how most people would randomly start their list, but still a good one! (With a grammatically complicated title, too.)


-J
Posted By: TrueMusic Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/07/12 08:40 AM
I didn't read this whole thread, just the first two pages, but I attend a private Christian school in San Diego and we do the same thing. Before every performance held in our hall there is a prayer offered, typically thanking God for the gift of music, the ability of the performers, and for allowing us to witness such an event. The other Christian schools I've been to recitals at do very similar things.
Posted By: wr Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/07/12 09:15 AM
Originally Posted by TrueMusic
I didn't read this whole thread, just the first two pages, but I attend a private Christian school in San Diego and we do the same thing. Before every performance held in our hall there is a prayer offered, typically thanking God for the gift of music, the ability of the performers, and for allowing us to witness such an event. The other Christian schools I've been to recitals at do very similar things.


Just to make sure I understand this correctly - are you talking about recitals put on by secular outside presenting organizations not associated with the school?

Posted By: Nikolas Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/07/12 09:18 AM
Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by TrueMusic
I didn't read this whole thread, just the first two pages, but I attend a private Christian school in San Diego and we do the same thing. Before every performance held in our hall there is a prayer offered, typically thanking God for the gift of music, the ability of the performers, and for allowing us to witness such an event. The other Christian schools I've been to recitals at do very similar things.


Just to make sure I understand this correctly - are you talking about recitals put on by secular outside presenting organizations not associated with the school?

I'd also like to know that... Thanks!
Posted By: Dave Horne Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/07/12 09:36 AM
Originally Posted by Jerry Groot RPT
Boy, after I don't know how many times some of you have said the burden of proof doesn't fall on you, you sure are going through a lot of trouble trying to prove he doesn't exist after all. Funny, I think anyway.... smile

In the end, there really is only one thing that will matter and that is this. When you die, you'd better hope that you are right. smile


Jerry, for many in the US, the label Atheist is on par with a child molester ... and that's based on what we do not accept, it is a passive label. A politician couldn't be elected (in the US) if he or she came out of the closet as an atheist. On top of that, we have religion ingrained from birth.

We have the Pledge of Allegiance - (one nation under God), In God We Trust on our currency, the religious get a tax break from the IRS, religion is big business. The burden of proof always falls on those who claim something exists whether it be a god, cold fusion, or homeopathic 'remedies' where the dilution contains no measurable ingredients.

As to what happens after we die, we live forever as memories in the brains of our friends (or enemies as the case may be).

There's absolutely no proof of an afterlife, none. (Consider the poor Muslims who willingly give their life for their belief system and wind up in Paradise with 72 virgins presumably with 72 mothers-in-law in tow ... for eternity nonetheless.) Consider the Mormons who believe they will be reunited with their family in Heaven ... for eternity. My word, being reunited with family for eternity sounds like a family vacation gone terribly wrong. If those thoughts give you comfort, great.




Posted By: landorrano Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/07/12 09:48 AM
Originally Posted by Jerry Groot RPT

In the end, there really is only one thing that will matter and that is this. When you die, you'd better hope that you are right. smile


How does the song go? "I swear there ain't no heaven and I pray there ain't no hel*!"
Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/07/12 11:10 AM
thumb

Dave,

That's why I said it. Who's right? crazy All in all, believe it, or not believe it, what will matter in the end, is what really is right. smile Not who is right. If you're wrong, guess what? If you're right, guess what? wink
Posted By: Dave Horne Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/07/12 12:35 PM
I think we are all avoiding the most important question, will pianos in heaven remain in tune or will there be need for heavenly tuners?

Will accordions, bagpipes, and banjos be allowed on the premises?
Posted By: Pogorelich. Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/07/12 01:20 PM
Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
Those Books are attributed to the individuals named but there's no proof that in fact they wrote them.


Love's Labour's Lost, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar,
Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, etc., etc. are all works attributed to Shakespeare, but there is no proof that he, in fact, wrote them. There is, in fact, an entire "school of thought" that questions his authorship.


You cannot be seriously comparing the bible to these..... Don't you see how different it is?

In fact, how do I know "stores" wrote that post? I'm questioning your authorship.
Posted By: Cinnamonbear Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/07/12 02:28 PM
Originally Posted by polyphasicpianist
[...]I am not going to lie, I don't quite grasp your argument here but, from what I can gather, it seems to me that you are incorrectly conflating the notion of "faith," i.e. the uncritical acceptance of something, with profound aspects of human subjectivity. The former does not entail the latter with anything even approximating necessity, though I am aware that many people do believe it does.[...]


Hmmm. I understand how you are drawing the conflation thing, but I disagree with your assessment that it is "incorrect." I can accept your terms, though, and say that that is simply the way it works (with lots of qualifications--not the least of which includes one's critical examination of a particular notion in question in any given situation, which a careful follower of this faith thing puts through the wringer of reason, and also into a quiet reflection of the heart, the result of which may be a rejection of that notion in question based on one's "faith" about it, even if reason might say "yes," or the heart might say, "yes." Ultimately, it's a faith thing. It's knowable, but in a different place than the mind. (P.S. A Christian would probably add a step--a careful examination of scripture. The rejection thing still holds, even if scripture might indicate "yes.")). Grasp that! grin

I found this last night, and thought you might find it amusing and even a little meaningful. There are actually six parts if you follow the links on YouTube. All six parts equals about an hour. I think he says some neat things in the opening, and there are some very funny moments throughout his show. BTW, he never mentions "faith" once, even though, in a way, he shows how it works! BONUS!!! wink

Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/07/12 05:54 PM
Quote
I think we are all avoiding the most important question, will pianos in heaven remain in tune or will there be need for heavenly tuners?

Will accordions, bagpipes, and banjos be allowed on the premises?


Tuners are already perfect so, nothing to answer there. grin But, a heavenly thought, nonetheless.
Posted By: Cinnamonbear Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/08/12 12:08 AM
My dad said that in heaven, we all get cellos.
Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/08/12 12:14 AM
grin
Posted By: Orange Soda King Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/08/12 01:10 AM
^ ^ ^
Hahahaha, that's hilarious...
Posted By: nocturne152 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/08/12 01:17 AM
Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
^ ^ ^
Hahahaha, that's hilarious...


plus one
Posted By: TrueMusic Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/08/12 06:11 AM
Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by TrueMusic
I didn't read this whole thread, just the first two pages, but I attend a private Christian school in San Diego and we do the same thing. Before every performance held in our hall there is a prayer offered, typically thanking God for the gift of music, the ability of the performers, and for allowing us to witness such an event. The other Christian schools I've been to recitals at do very similar things.


Just to make sure I understand this correctly - are you talking about recitals put on by secular outside presenting organizations not associated with the school?



Yes. We had a couple world class concert pianists at school last semester performing a number of piano duets - the Rachmoninoff waltz, a sonata I forget who it was by, and the rite of spring for two pianos, and there was a prayer before it.
Posted By: wr Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/08/12 07:28 AM
Originally Posted by TrueMusic
Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by TrueMusic
I didn't read this whole thread, just the first two pages, but I attend a private Christian school in San Diego and we do the same thing. Before every performance held in our hall there is a prayer offered, typically thanking God for the gift of music, the ability of the performers, and for allowing us to witness such an event. The other Christian schools I've been to recitals at do very similar things.


Just to make sure I understand this correctly - are you talking about recitals put on by secular outside presenting organizations not associated with the school?



Yes. We had a couple world class concert pianists at school last semester performing a number of piano duets - the Rachmoninoff waltz, a sonata I forget who it was by, and the rite of spring for two pianos, and there was a prayer before it.


Sorry to be such a pest, but what organization was the presenter?

Posted By: Nikolas Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/08/12 07:53 AM
I simply don't get it.

Churches are used as concert venues.
Not all performers follow the set religion.
Religion is private and nobody's business.

So why on earth should the venue push their 'agenda' like that?
Posted By: wr Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/08/12 09:13 AM
Originally Posted by Andromaque

Having said that, they are in their right, on their turf. That is called freedom.


To me, there's some question about "turf" in this situation. If the presenter has hired or otherwise arranged for the hall, organized the promotion of the event, pays the overhead for utilities etc., brings in the performer, does the box-office duties, and the school just provides the physical structure, is that really still purely "their turf"? I think that assertion is somewhat questionable, and think it is much more likely that it is some sort of shared turf, with a strong weighting of turf ownership in favor of the people actually running the event.

I don't see why it would be any different than an organization hiring a privately owned secular hall for a concert. Who owns the turf during the course of the concert in those situations? I think most concert organization would think that, in large part, they do. In a way, the turf issue really boils down to who holds responsibility for issues regarding the event as an event and who holds responsibility for issues regarding the space regardless of what the event might be.




Posted By: wr Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/08/12 10:17 AM
Originally Posted by polyphasicpianist
Originally Posted by rocket88
This really is my last post on this thread.

For those who want a book explaining the alleged inconsistencies and so forth of the Bible, this is a good one.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/has...19701&itm=2&usri=hank+hanegraaff


Do you know something, in the interest of fairness I think I shall read this book. Though, I must confess after reading the introduction on amazon's "look inside" function and seeing the sentence "apologetics is a discipline through which the validity of the virgin birth can be historically established" I don't foresee the scholarship of this book being altogether persuasive. This is made all the more salient by the fact that I am just currently finishing up the reading of Diarmaid Macculloch's book "Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years ," where the level Scholarship from the Oxford Professor is, for lack of a better word, impeccable.


This is getting somewhat off-topic, but I thought you and others might find it interesting.

I was looking at the reader comments of the Hanegraaff book at both the Barnes and Noble site, and also at Amazon, and noticed that many of the reviews (possibly most, I didn't actually count) had an interesting little disclaimer. It said they had got a free copy of the book via something called booksneeze. And most of the reviews were quite favorable, with a few less favorable (but never from an actual non-Christian point of view). I don't remember ever seeing that sort of thing before, and wondered what was going on.

It turns out that it is something the publisher of Hanegraaff's books is doing. That publisher is Thomas Nelson, a religious publishing house - the Wikipedia entry on it details an interesting history. The deal is that they are giving away free books in exchange for book reviews at places like Amazon, or giving away books in exchange for blog entries if they have a blog. How very clever (it even vaguely resembles what happens with professional reviewers, who usually get free product simply for being in the profession). Needless to say, since it's a Christian publishing house, most of the people who sign up to do reviews will be Christians who are automatically favorably biased towards the product (and who apparently find no ethical issues with touting a product they got for nothing).

But does a person casually perusing the comments at Amazon know any of this? Probably not; I sure didn't until I looked into it. What they see is a bunch of reviews artificially generated by a giveaway program, obviously with a favorable slant, and with a boilerplate disclaimer at the end that doesn't say it is the publisher itself that is basically paying lots of people with free books to write the reviews, which they know will be generally positive. Hmmm...has anyone invented the word iShill ?

But wait, it gets better...

Guess who owns this company? None other than that paragon of Christian ethics and behavior, Rupert Murdoch. I think the acquisition started last fall and was completed quite recently.
Posted By: Dave Horne Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/08/12 01:10 PM
That's similar to what Scientologists do. They'll buy up their own books to keep them artificially in the Best Seller's list.

Businessmen work in mysterious ways.
Posted By: Cinnamonbear Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/08/12 02:30 PM
Originally Posted by wr
[...] This is getting somewhat off-topic, but I thought you and others might find it interesting.

I was looking at the reader comments of the Hanegraaff book at both the Barnes and Noble site, and also at Amazon, and noticed that many of the reviews (possibly most, I didn't actually count) had an interesting little disclaimer. It said they had got a free copy of the book via something called booksneeze. And most of the reviews were quite favorable, with a few less favorable (but never from an actual non-Christian point of view). I don't remember ever seeing that sort of thing before, and wondered what was going on.

It turns out that it is something the publisher of Hanegraaff's books is doing. That publisher is Thomas Nelson, a religious publishing house - the Wikipedia entry on it details an interesting history. The deal is that they are giving away free books in exchange for book reviews at places like Amazon, or giving away books in exchange for blog entries if they have a blog. How very clever (it even vaguely resembles what happens with professional reviewers, who usually get free product simply for being in the profession). Needless to say, since it's a Christian publishing house, most of the people who sign up to do reviews will be Christians who are automatically favorably biased towards the product (and who apparently find no ethical issues with touting a product they got for nothing).

But does a person casually perusing the comments at Amazon know any of this? Probably not; I sure didn't until I looked into it. What they see is a bunch of reviews artificially generated by a giveaway program, obviously with a favorable slant, and with a boilerplate disclaimer at the end that doesn't say it is the publisher itself that is basically paying lots of people with free books to write the reviews, which they know will be generally positive. Hmmm...has anyone invented the word iShill ?

But wait, it gets better...

Guess who owns this company? None other than that paragon of Christian ethics and behavior, Rupert Murdoch. I think the acquisition started last fall and was completed quite recently.


Way to dig, wr! thumb Personally, I am disturbed to find that Rupert Murdoch now owns Thomas Nelson. The trend of media consolidation and corruption continues apace.

I am not at all disturbed that a publisher is giving away books for review. Giving away books to reviewers is not nefarious. Rather, it is common practice. Here is a Wikipedia entry on "Advanced Copies," which is the way publishers get their books into the hands of reviewers so they can get those nice blurbs for their book covers and advertisements. Of course publishers want their books reviewed favorably! smile They send out bunches of free "advanced copies" in hopes of getting some nice things said about a book. When I worked in Libraryland, it was an easy thing to become a reviewer for Library Journal. Pretty much, all you needed was to be current on your dues to the American Library Association and be able to fog a mirror. You will often see blurbs from Library Journal reviewers on dust jackets. I would not be surprised to find that the "booksneeze" idea is employed by a number of publishers of all types of books, and is simply another indication of the way business is done at this time on the Internet.
Posted By: Cinnamonbear Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/08/12 02:36 PM
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
That's similar to what Scientologists do. They'll buy up their own books to keep them artificially in the Best Seller's list.

Businessmen work in mysterious ways.


Again, this is not an uncommon practice among a number of various unscrupulous types from all walks of the publishing world. Throw a rock. Hit a cheater. You don't have to aim your throw in any particular direction, either.
Posted By: Nikolas Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/08/12 03:01 PM
Originally Posted by Cinnamonbear
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
That's similar to what Scientologists do. They'll buy up their own books to keep them artificially in the Best Seller's list.

Businessmen work in mysterious ways.


Again, this is not an uncommon practice among a number of various unscrupulous types from all walks of the publishing industry. Throw a rock. Hit a cheater. You don't have to aim your throw in any particular direction, either.
The first thing you mention (Advanced copies) only makes sense... How else can you bring someone to review your books? (I should know by now... :P). Thing is that, personally, I try to be clear that there are no strings attached with the reviewer! They may not want to review the book, or offer a negative review after all! It's all part of the same deal, and I'm too naive to throw in another deal.

The second thing you mention is simply... awful... frown
Posted By: Cinnamonbear Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/08/12 03:42 PM
Originally Posted by Nikolas
Originally Posted by Cinnamonbear
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
That's similar to what Scientologists do. They'll buy up their own books to keep them artificially in the Best Seller's list.

Businessmen work in mysterious ways.


Again, this is not an uncommon practice among a number of various unscrupulous types from all walks of the publishing industry. Throw a rock. Hit a cheater. You don't have to aim your throw in any particular direction, either.
The first thing you mention (Advanced copies) only makes sense... How else can you bring someone to review your books? (I should know by now... :P). Thing is that, personally, I try to be clear that there are no strings attached with the reviewer! They may not want to review the book, or offer a negative review after all! It's all part of the same deal, and I'm too naive to throw in another deal.

The second thing you mention is simply... awful... frown


Perhaps I would have done better to use the term "publishing world" rather than "publishing industry." (My apologies to the scrupulous and above-board in the cut-throat business.) In any case, among some, the second thing I mention is rationalized as "activism."
Posted By: Dave Horne Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/08/12 05:24 PM
Again, this is not an uncommon practice among a number of various unscrupulous types from all walks of the publishing industry. Throw a rock. Hit a cheater. You don't have to aim your throw in any particular direction, either.

If you don't mind me asking, were you just generalizing or do you know of specific instances of the behavior from other groups?
Posted By: Bech Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/08/12 05:49 PM


Long ago I met a fellow who said he never discussed politics or religion. At the time I kind of considered him a wimp of sorts. With the passage of time I think his attitude has merit. How many hours and days would you like to devote to these subjects when there's all kinds of 'happy things' you could be doing? "Life is short."

People usually have a great 'vested interest' in believing as they do. A very unwelcome alienation from your social group will be your reward for disagreeing with them. Not appealing to most people.

"Like father, like son," has its reasons.

Bech



Posted By: Andromaque Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/08/12 07:00 PM
Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by Andromaque

Having said that, they are in their right, on their turf. That is called freedom.


To me, there's some question about "turf" in this situation. If the presenter has hired or otherwise arranged for the hall, organized the promotion of the event, pays the overhead for utilities etc., brings in the performer, does the box-office duties, and the school just provides the physical structure, is that really still purely "their turf"? I think that assertion is somewhat questionable, and think it is much more likely that it is some sort of shared turf, with a strong weighting of turf ownership in favor of the people actually running the event.

I don't see why it would be any different than an organization hiring a privately owned secular hall for a concert. Who owns the turf during the course of the concert in those situations? I think most concert organization would think that, in large part, they do. In a way, the turf issue really boils down to who holds responsibility for issues regarding the event as an event and who holds responsibility for issues regarding the space regardless of what the event might be.




The OP described the presenter as introducing Tao then leading the audience in prayer. Thus the notion of turf. (funky word, that, when repeated especially).
I can imagine that the circumstances you describe could exist but most of these places like to keep control of performances and are less likely to rent out the hall with strings unattached. If the school administration is "presenting" the performer, they reserve the right to do their prayer ragardless.
Posted By: Cinnamonbear Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/08/12 09:38 PM
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
Again, this is not an uncommon practice among a number of various unscrupulous types from all walks of the publishing industry. Throw a rock. Hit a cheater. You don't have to aim your throw in any particular direction, either.

If you don't mind me asking, were you just generalizing or do you know of specific instances of the behavior from other groups?


Sure Dave. And at the risk of taking a thread about "religion" into "politics and current events," here are some:

BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK: Did Dirty Tricks Create A Best Seller

THE NYTPICKER: "Is the NYT Paperback Best-Seller List 'Rigged'?"

POLITICO: How Romney Made A Best-Seller

THE IMMORAL MINORITY (BLOGSPOT): The Conservative "Bulk-Book Buying Machine"...

Don't believe everything you read, though. Corruption, dis-information and evil agendas come from all directions--Left, Right, Front, Back, Up, Down and all points inbetween and beyond... shocked eek smirk
Posted By: wr Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/08/12 09:53 PM
Originally Posted by Andromaque
Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by Andromaque

Having said that, they are in their right, on their turf. That is called freedom.


To me, there's some question about "turf" in this situation. If the presenter has hired or otherwise arranged for the hall, organized the promotion of the event, pays the overhead for utilities etc., brings in the performer, does the box-office duties, and the school just provides the physical structure, is that really still purely "their turf"? I think that assertion is somewhat questionable, and think it is much more likely that it is some sort of shared turf, with a strong weighting of turf ownership in favor of the people actually running the event.

I don't see why it would be any different than an organization hiring a privately owned secular hall for a concert. Who owns the turf during the course of the concert in those situations? I think most concert organization would think that, in large part, they do. In a way, the turf issue really boils down to who holds responsibility for issues regarding the event as an event and who holds responsibility for issues regarding the space regardless of what the event might be.




The OP described the presenter as introducing Tao then leading the audience in prayer. Thus the notion of turf. (funky word, that, when repeated especially).
I can imagine that the circumstances you describe could exist but most of these places like to keep control of performances and are less likely to rent out the hall with strings unattached. If the school administration is "presenting" the performer, they reserve the right to do their prayer ragardless.


Sorry, I meant "presenter" as the organization that puts on the concert, not the person who got in front of the audience and said the prayer, i.e., the Gilmore Festival. The school isn't the presenter, in the way I think of it. Maybe that's not standard usage - it's just the way I am hearing it used, say, when the newspaper reports something about one of the local concert-presenting organizations.



Posted By: Dave Horne Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/08/12 09:57 PM
Cinnamonbear, thanks! That was an education.

I was bored a few weeks ago and wanted to read something on my Kindle. I looked at the New York Time's book list and bought Fifty Shades of Gray without doing much research. Light and entertaining, but I won't be buying books two or three of the trilogy.

(If anyone's interested I'm currently reading 2030 by Albert Brooks.)
Posted By: Andromaque Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/08/12 10:09 PM
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
I was bored a few weeks ago and wanted to read something on my Kindle. I looked at the New York Time's book list and bought Fifty Shades of Gray without doing much research. Light and entertaining, but I won't be buying books two or three of the trilogy.

(If anyone's interested I'm currently reading 2030 by Albert Brooks.)


Ha! A girlfriend of mine raved about the Fifty.. book and encouraged me to read it. But I only downloaded a sample which I found pretty boring and predictable. So I did not get the rest of the book.

Which brings me to another question. Are you able to download books to your kindle from the American amazon site, regardless of the fact (I presume) that you have a Dutch account? I have been trying to download a book from the French site to no avail.


wr, you mean the Sponsoring organization. But I understood that. Still if Gilmore organized this and a local school person was introducing the artist, it means 1) Gilmore is cool with it or 2)the school insists on running the show and has the right of first refusal or (actual) blessing.
Posted By: Dave Horne Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/08/12 10:20 PM
I learned early on there is (or was) a price difference between the same item delivered to a credit card with a US address or a European address.

I forget exactly what I did, but even though my address on file is the Netherlands, I order from the US and receive US prices. (This pricing policy from Amazon might have been changed. I also have a brother in the US and use his address as a second address for my credit card.)

Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/08/12 10:21 PM
Quote
The OP described the presenter as introducing Tao then leading the audience in prayer. Thus the notion of turf. (funky word, that, when repeated especially).
I can imagine that the circumstances you describe could exist but most of these places like to keep control of performances and are less likely to rent out the hall with strings unattached. If the school administration is "presenting" the performer, they reserve the right to do their prayer ragardless.


That isn't what happened. She may have mentioned his name prior to the prayer, but the performer was not, and is not, introduced first. They are introduced after the prayer.

Posted By: Andromaque Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/08/12 10:35 PM
Originally Posted by Jerry Groot RPT
That isn't what happened. She may have mentioned his name prior to the prayer, but the performer was not, and is not, introduced first. They are introduced after the prayer.


..by the same "presenter"?
Posted By: wr Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/08/12 10:52 PM
Originally Posted by Cinnamonbear

Way to dig, wr! thumb Personally, I am disturbed to find that Rupert Murdoch now owns Thomas Nelson. The trend of media consolidation and corruption continues apace.

I am not at all disturbed that a publisher is giving away books for review. Giving away books to reviewers is not nefarious. Rather, it is common practice. Here is a Wikipedia entry on "Advanced Copies," which is the way publishers get their books into the hands of reviewers so they can get those nice blurbs for their book covers and advertisements. Of course publishers want their books reviewed favorably! smile They send out bunches of free "advanced copies" in hopes of getting some nice things said about a book. When I worked in Libraryland, it was an easy thing to become a reviewer for Library Journal. Pretty much, all you needed was to be current on your dues to the American Library Association and be able to fog a mirror. You will often see blurbs from Library Journal reviewers on dust jackets. I would not be surprised to find that the "booksneeze" idea is employed by a number of publishers of all types of books, and is simply another indication of the way business is done at this time on the Internet.


As I said, this program bears slight resemblance to what happens with professional reviewers. Very slight, though, and the results are not at all the same.

I really shouldn't have to explain this, but book reviews based on advance copies that one reads in newspapers and magazines, or hears on radio or television, are usually coming from professional reviewers (just as movie and television reviews prior to general release are done by professional reviewers). Professional reviewers, generally, will feel some professional obligations about what they say. They know they need to keep some distance from the people and companies that provide them with the material they review. They know they have a reputation at stake. They know there are professional ethics involved. They also feel some obligation to review based on some criteria other than "I want a free copy this book". None of that is true for the people who write customer reviews at Amazon. The people getting free copies of the books are not customers, since the definition of customer is someone who buys something. In this case, the publisher is the actual customer, and it is buying phoney "customer reviews".

I also don't see any relevance of the ease of getting a review into Library Journal, if you are a paying professional member of that organization. You are not masquerading as the general public.

I've read many customer reviews at Amazon (and have written a few), but I've never seen anything like this before now. It cannot be standard publisher practice, because if it were, we'd all know that we could get anything we wanted to read for free that way, and many of us would be taking advantage of it. And if it were a widespread practice among publishers, we'd be seeing some public discussion of the ethics involved, I think.
Posted By: riley80 Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/08/12 11:35 PM
It wouldn't have bothered me a bit. Being at a religious venue, I would almost expect it.
I do happen to believe that all gifts are from above, but I think that even an atheist could let it pass without a flutter.
Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/08/12 11:59 PM
Quote
..by the same "presenter"?


Yes. The person that introduced him, also lead in prayer.
Posted By: wr Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/09/12 12:13 AM
Originally Posted by Cinnamonbear
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
Again, this is not an uncommon practice among a number of various unscrupulous types from all walks of the publishing industry. Throw a rock. Hit a cheater. You don't have to aim your throw in any particular direction, either.

If you don't mind me asking, were you just generalizing or do you know of specific instances of the behavior from other groups?


Sure Dave. And at the risk of taking a thread about "religion" into "politics and current events," here are some:

BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK: Did Dirty Tricks Create A Best Seller

THE NYTPICKER: "Is the NYT Paperback Best-Seller List 'Rigged'?"

POLITICO: How Romney Made A Best-Seller

THE IMMORAL MINORITY (BLOGSPOT): The Conservative "Bulk-Book Buying Machine"...

Don't believe everything you read, though. Corruption, dis-information and evil agendas come from all directions--Left, Right, Front, Back, Up, Down and all points inbetween and beyond... shocked eek smirk


I noticed that the last item in your list concerned a Sarah Palin book published by HarperCollins. HarperCollins is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. It is the entity through which he acquired Thomas Nelson, the publisher of the Hanegraaff book.
Posted By: TrueMusic Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/09/12 12:40 AM
Originally Posted by wr

Sorry to be such a pest, but what organization was the presenter?



I have no idea. Gustavo Romero was the main pianist, I don't recall the name of the other. She was a somewhat older Japanese lady. What was neat, I got be in a master class with Gustavo and had the opportunity to turn pages for him during the concert! [Yes...they were still reading the music for the right of Spring and playing it perfectly. Unbelievable.]

Edit: I just realized what you meant by presenter. The school was presenting them.
Posted By: Cinnamonbear Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/09/12 02:58 AM
Originally Posted by wr
[...] I noticed that the last item in your list concerned a Sarah Palin book published by HarperCollins. HarperCollins is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. It is the entity through which he acquired Thomas Nelson, the publisher of the Hanegraaff book.


Well, it's like I said, wr... Throw a rock. Any direction. frown On the bright side, you are one degree of separation away from Kevin Bacon. grin
Posted By: Cinnamonbear Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/09/12 04:59 AM
Originally Posted by rocket88
This really is my last post on this thread.

For those who want a book explaining the alleged inconsistencies and so forth of the Bible, this is a good one.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/has...19701&itm=2&usri=hank+hanegraaff


Also, as a former librarian, I would like to mention that we had a saying in the reading recommendation biz, "The right book at the right time for the right person." Books really are like that. I am sure most of us have had the experience of being deeply changed by reading a certain book at a certain time in our lives. Fiction or non-fiction, sometimes the right book at the right time will fill in gaps, answer questions, help clarify thinking, set us forward on our path to better understanding, etc. Something tells me that this is why polyphasicpianist likes to quote Sam Harris so much. Something there really resonated with him. For me, an extraordinarily life-changing book was

Your God Is Too Small by J.B. Phillips

It is a short book that can be read in less than a day if you are a fast reader. Two days, if, like me, you are a slow reader, although the first time I read it, I stayed up all night until I finished it. Like I said--it was an extraordinarily life-changing book for me at the time and I could not put it down! Phillips spends the first half of the book giving examples of what God isn't (all of them very familiar ideas about God), then spends the second half of the book humbly explaining who God is. (In my opinion, the cover designer wrecked the cover of the current printing. The typographic art is way too churchy and gives a totally wrong first impression. The content is way better than that! Yes, I am saying, "Do not judge this book by its cover!"). smile

Posted By: Dave Horne Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/09/12 06:56 AM
A life changing moment for me, I've had several over the years, was watching the following video made from images collected by the Hubble telescope.

Posted By: wr Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/09/12 10:26 AM
Originally Posted by TrueMusic
Originally Posted by wr

Sorry to be such a pest, but what organization was the presenter?



I have no idea. Gustavo Romero was the main pianist, I don't recall the name of the other. She was a somewhat older Japanese lady. What was neat, I got be in a master class with Gustavo and had the opportunity to turn pages for him during the concert! [Yes...they were still reading the music for the right of Spring and playing it perfectly. Unbelievable.]

Edit: I just realized what you meant by presenter. The school was presenting them.


Thanks.

It looks like my understanding of the word "presenter" is off-base; I'll try to remember to avoid using it that way.

Posted By: GlassLove Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/09/12 12:22 PM
Originally Posted by Jerry Groot RPT
Quote
The OP described the presenter as introducing Tao then leading the audience in prayer. Thus the notion of turf. (funky word, that, when repeated especially).
I can imagine that the circumstances you describe could exist but most of these places like to keep control of performances and are less likely to rent out the hall with strings unattached. If the school administration is "presenting" the performer, they reserve the right to do their prayer ragardless.


That isn't what happened. She may have mentioned his name prior to the prayer, but the performer was not, and is not, introduced first. They are introduced after the prayer.



I guess it depends upon how you operationally define "introduce." The individual who introduced Tao first described him and gave a bit about his background (I would call this part of the introduction). Tao was not yet on the stage. She then said the prayer. Then she said something along the lines of it being her honor to introduce Tao (what Jerry is calling the introduction). Tao then appeared on stage. So, I am sorry if what I wrote earlier was misleading. Tao was not on stage during the prayer.

I suspect that Calvin offers their auditorium as a venue for the Gilmore Festival because it has very nice acoustics and is just the right size for a recital of this type. There are a number of Gilmore events around Grand Rapids, Calvin being just one of the venues). I was amazed at how inexpensive the tickets were ($10.00). I thought that I would see many more students at the recital given how affordable the tickets were but the audience was on the "older" side (60+ for the most part).
Posted By: Cinnamonbear Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/09/12 01:24 PM
Dave,
Speaking of space, remember this? Talk about a leap of faith! grin



I really liked the music in this one ^^^. There are more conventional documentaries out there about Col. Joe Kittinger's jump, including this one from back in the day when the world was in blackandwhite. This one's got some nice color footage.
Posted By: Ken Knapp Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/09/12 01:29 PM
Originally Posted by Jerry Groot RPT

In the end, there really is only one thing that will matter and that is this. When you die, you'd better hope that you are right. smile


I can't argue with that!! laugh
Posted By: The Hound Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/09/12 04:25 PM
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
A life changing moment for me, I've had several over the years, was watching the following video made from images collected by the Hubble telescope.



I don't know if you've seen this, but it not you should appreciate it, as the theme is similar to the whole deep field endeavour. It is based on a wonderful and humbling photo taken by Voyager 1, with a fantastic monologue from Carl Sagan.

Posted By: Cinnamonbear Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/09/12 05:22 PM
This one is cool, too. It's about orders of magnitude.

Cosmic Voyage, pt. 1



Cosmic Voyage, pt. 2



Cosmic Voyage, pt. 3

Posted By: Dave Horne Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/09/12 09:57 PM
Cinnamonbear, I had not seen that documentary. Thank you!

I just watched it in its entirety. Excellent!

Posted By: Kimsie Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/15/12 09:18 PM
Originally Posted by The Hound
...it would probably irk me a bit if I were him, yeah, knowing how hard it is necessary to work to achieve even my current level at the piano, let alone a concert performer's level. Sure, some people have greater potential than others, but from my personal point of view it seems vacuous to attribute that to one's chosen god, rather than simple genetic luck.



Acknowledging that talent is given by God doesn't mean that the speaker doesn't realize or appreciate that the player has worked very hard to achieve their level of ability. It's just that one person may be able to achieve wonderful music by working very hard, and another person might only achieve the ability to walk or get C grades in school with the same amount of work and effort. But God gives the same credit to the C student or the person who had to work so hard just to be able to walk as He does to the pianist. The fabulous pianist didn't get his native talent by his own efforts or by deserving it - he could have just as well been born with cerebral palsy and never been able to play a note or even talk clearly - it was given to him, either by God or by luck, if you prefer to see it that way. This native talent is what they are referring to as being given by God in the prayer. It isn't a put down against the hard work of the pianist.

I was at a concert just a couple of months ago at a church for a young violinist who was preparing to enter an international contest. They acknowledged both God's gift and the hard work of the violinist. This is perhaps the best way to do it.

Quote

Indeed. Islam hardly has a monopoly on fundamentalists. The USA certainly appears to have rather more than its fair share.


There is no such thing as an Islamic fundamentalist, the word is constantly misused in the media. The term fundamentalist was originally coined early in the 1900's to differentiate between Christians who believed in the 5 fundamentals of Christianity and those who did not. Those who only believed in some of the fundamentals but not all 5 were called liberals. The fundamentals are:
1. The inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture
2. The deity of Jesus Christ
3. The virgin birth of Christ
4. The substitutionary, atoning work of Christ on the cross
5. The physical resurrection and the personal bodily return of Christ to the earth.

Since Muslims do not believe these they are not fundamentalists.
Posted By: Dave Horne Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/15/12 09:22 PM
There is no such thing as an Islamic fundamentalist, the word is constantly misused in the media. The term fundamentalist was originally coined early in the 1900's to differentiate between Christians who believed in the 5 fundamentals of Christianity and those who did not. Those who only believed in some of the fundamentals but not all 5 were called liberals. The fundamentals are:
1. The inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture
2. The deity of Jesus Christ
3. The virgin birth of Christ
4. The substitutionary, atoning work of Christ on the cross
5. The physical resurrection and the personal bodily return of Christ to the earth.

Since Muslims do not believe these they are not fundamentalists.


Kimsie said it, I believe it, that settles it. laugh

Posted By: Damon Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/15/12 09:45 PM
Originally Posted by Kimsie

There is no such thing as an Islamic fundamentalist, the word is constantly misused in the media. The term fundamentalist was originally coined early in the 1900's to differentiate between Christians who believed in the 5 fundamentals of Christianity and those who did not.


The word "fundamentalist" doesn't belong to Christians.
Posted By: Kimsie Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/15/12 09:54 PM
No word belongs to anyone or any group of people and the meaning of words is constantly changing. I just have a peeve about they way fundamentalist is used by the media, because now fundamentalists can't use the word any more to describe themselves and have to go into a long explanation of what they believe instead of just saying they are fundamentalists, since the media has fundamentalists pegged as people who are, for instance, hostile towards gays, when the original use of the word had nothing to do with it.
Posted By: Damon Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/15/12 11:11 PM
Originally Posted by Kimsie
No word belongs to anyone or any group of people and the meaning of words is constantly changing. I just have a peeve about they way fundamentalist is used by the media, because now fundamentalists can't use the word any more to describe themselves and have to go into a long explanation of what they believe instead of just saying they are fundamentalists, since the media has fundamentalists pegged as people who are, for instance, hostile towards gays, when the original use of the word had nothing to do with it.


After admitting the word doesn't belong to any group you bemoan the fact that someone can't refer to themselves as such without a qualifier? It's not hard, you can do it by adding one word; christian or muslim or hindu.
Posted By: wr Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/16/12 09:21 AM
Originally Posted by Kimsie
Originally Posted by The Hound
...it would probably irk me a bit if I were him, yeah, knowing how hard it is necessary to work to achieve even my current level at the piano, let alone a concert performer's level. Sure, some people have greater potential than others, but from my personal point of view it seems vacuous to attribute that to one's chosen god, rather than simple genetic luck.



Acknowledging that talent is given by God doesn't mean that the speaker doesn't realize or appreciate that the player has worked very hard to achieve their level of ability. It's just that one person may be able to achieve wonderful music by working very hard, and another person might only achieve the ability to walk or get C grades in school with the same amount of work and effort. But God gives the same credit to the C student or the person who had to work so hard just to be able to walk as He does to the pianist. The fabulous pianist didn't get his native talent by his own efforts or by deserving it - he could have just as well been born with cerebral palsy and never been able to play a note or even talk clearly - it was given to him, either by God or by luck, if you prefer to see it that way. This native talent is what they are referring to as being given by God in the prayer. It isn't a put down against the hard work of the pianist.

I was at a concert just a couple of months ago at a church for a young violinist who was preparing to enter an international contest. They acknowledged both God's gift and the hard work of the violinist. This is perhaps the best way to do it.



So far, no one has given any evidence that Mr. Tao thinks his talent is some kind of divine gift. More specifically, a divine gift from the particular god that the administration of that school worships. If Mr. Tao doesn't agree with that premise (and there is no reason to assume he does), then a person from that school describing his talent in terms of their religion is being grossly insensitive to the situation, IMO.

There's a certain irony in all of this; it involves the pianist's last name.

Quote
Quote


Indeed. Islam hardly has a monopoly on fundamentalists. The USA certainly appears to have rather more than its fair share.


There is no such thing as an Islamic fundamentalist, the word is constantly misused in the media. The term fundamentalist was originally coined early in the 1900's to differentiate between Christians who believed in the 5 fundamentals of Christianity and those who did not. Those who only believed in some of the fundamentals but not all 5 were called liberals. The fundamentals are:
1. The inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture
2. The deity of Jesus Christ
3. The virgin birth of Christ
4. The substitutionary, atoning work of Christ on the cross
5. The physical resurrection and the personal bodily return of Christ to the earth.

Since Muslims do not believe these they are not fundamentalists.


The use of "fundamentalist" as a descriptor applying to Islam first appeared in print in the 1930s, less than fifteen years after the word first appeared in print at all.

It's kind of silly to imagine that "the media" somehow are the reason that people don't think of "fundamentalist" in some strict religious formulation. The word itself invites anyone who sees it to interpret it on the fly. Root word plus "ist" - how common a formula is that, anyway?



Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/16/12 12:45 PM
If the school system, INVITES YOU to play there, and this school system does just that, presents an invitation and then approves and/or accepts you to play there, and YOU then, accept the invitation to play here, then, you agree to abide by the rules of the Christian school system.

Whether or not anyone in here believes in GOD matters little. The point is that the school itself does and prays according to their beliefs.

That person always has the choice not to play... They have the choice to decline the invitation... This person chose to accept it.

The school was not being insensitive? They were and are abiding by their own belief's. Just become someone doesn't believe in God they are being insensitive to one that does not? How about reversing that? Being insensitive to someone that does believe in God by bashing them in anyway? A Christian has just as much right to believing as anyone in here does in not believing.

Posted By: Kimsie Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/16/12 02:30 PM
Quote


It's kind of silly to imagine that "the media" somehow are the reason that people don't think of "fundamentalist" in some strict religious formulation. The word itself invites anyone who sees it to interpret it on the fly. Root word plus "ist" - how common a formula is that, anyway?

I guess what I object to about the use of the word fundamentalist in the media is that I feel it is used by people who do not believe in God to imply that people who believe in the fundamental beliefs of their faith are generally out killing and persecuting people. I have never seen a reference Mother Theresa that called her a fundamentalist, although all she did was motivated by her fundamentalist faith. Fundamentalist beliefs are not necessarily evil, they can be good and charitable, but they always seem to be referred to as evil in the media. Even the usage of the word by people in this thread seems to me to be entirely negative.
Posted By: Dave Horne Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/16/12 03:36 PM
Originally Posted by Kimsie
Quote


It's kind of silly to imagine that "the media" somehow are the reason that people don't think of "fundamentalist" in some strict religious formulation. The word itself invites anyone who sees it to interpret it on the fly. Root word plus "ist" - how common a formula is that, anyway?

I guess what I object to about the use of the word fundamentalist in the media is that I feel it is used by people who do not believe in God to imply that people who believe in the fundamental beliefs of their faith are generally out killing and persecuting people. I have never seen a reference Mother Theresa that called her a fundamentalist, although all she did was motivated by her fundamentalist faith. Fundamentalist beliefs are not necessarily evil, they can be good and charitable, but they always seem to be referred to as evil in the media. Even the usage of the word by people in this thread seems to me to be entirely negative.


I use the term religious fundamentalist to describe those individuals who believe their ancient writings in a very literal sense. It's been my experience that those with a literal approach to those ancient texts tend to be extremely conservative in their views especially towards the equality of women and gay rights.

(They also seem to believe that the Earth is thousands of years old and not billions of years old and have an aversion to Darwinian evolution. I recently read the book The Devil in Dover by Lauri Lebo about the introduction of Intelligent Design by the Dover, PA school board after watching a NOVA documentary, Intelligent Design on Trial.)

While I have read works by Christopher Hitchens, I have not read The Missionary Position, his exposé on Mother Teresa. He was not charitable. smile

A Wiki summary of that book can be seen here.
Posted By: antony Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/16/12 04:28 PM
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
Originally Posted by Kimsie
Quote


It's kind of silly to imagine that "the media" somehow are the reason that people don't think of "fundamentalist" in some strict religious formulation. The word itself invites anyone who sees it to interpret it on the fly. Root word plus "ist" - how common a formula is that, anyway?

I guess what I object to about the use of the word fundamentalist in the media is that I feel it is used by people who do not believe in God to imply that people who believe in the fundamental beliefs of their faith are generally out killing and persecuting people. I have never seen a reference Mother Theresa that called her a fundamentalist, although all she did was motivated by her fundamentalist faith. Fundamentalist beliefs are not necessarily evil, they can be good and charitable, but they always seem to be referred to as evil in the media. Even the usage of the word by people in this thread seems to me to be entirely negative.


I use the term religious fundamentalist to describe those individuals who believe their ancient writings in a very literal sense. It's been my experience that those with a literal approach to those ancient texts tend to be extremely conservative in their views especially towards the equality of women and gay rights.

(They also seem to believe that the Earth is thousands of years old and not billions of years old and have an aversion to Darwinian evolution. I recently read the book The Devil in Dover by Lauri Lebo about the introduction of Intelligent Design by the Dover, PA school board after watching a NOVA documentary, Intelligent Design on Trial.)

While I have read works by Christopher Hitchens, I have not read The Missionary Position, his exposé on Mother Teresa. He was not charitable. smile

A Wiki summary of that book can be seen here.


Exactly. A "fundamentalist" is one who takes literally the texts of their particular religion. A Christian believing that all the events depicted actually happened i.e. Adam and Eve, Noah, The resurrection etc.

I have not read the Koran, but what I have heard is that there are, at points at least, places where it explicitly admonishes followers to be violent against non-believers or their transgressions, and that is what terrorists are using as their justifications for violence- hence Islamic Fundamentalist
Posted By: wr Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/16/12 11:31 PM
Originally Posted by Jerry Groot RPT
If the school system, INVITES YOU to play there, and this school system does just that, presents an invitation and then approves and/or accepts you to play there, and YOU then, accept the invitation to play here, then, you agree to abide by the rules of the Christian school system.

Whether or not anyone in here believes in GOD matters little. The point is that the school itself does and prays according to their beliefs.

That person always has the choice not to play... They have the choice to decline the invitation... This person chose to accept it.

The school was not being insensitive? They were and are abiding by their own belief's. Just become someone doesn't believe in God they are being insensitive to one that does not? How about reversing that? Being insensitive to someone that does believe in God by bashing them in anyway? A Christian has just as much right to believing as anyone in here does in not believing.



The school didn't invite Tao, it is just another of the Gilmore venues, which is a secular piano series. Several of the other Gilmore venues are churches, as well as secular halls. Do all of the churches also have a opening prayer for the concert? If there are some, do they all thank their god for the performer's talent, regardless of the performer's own beliefs? I would bet that if there are some who do open with a prayer, it is likely that at least some of the people giving the prayer who have enough thoughtfulness to give thanks in a different way, a way that doesn't describe the performer's talent as a product of their own religious beliefs.

By the way, don't assume anything about what I personally may believe - it not part of my online identity here.

Posted By: wr Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/16/12 11:47 PM
Originally Posted by Kimsie
Quote


It's kind of silly to imagine that "the media" somehow are the reason that people don't think of "fundamentalist" in some strict religious formulation. The word itself invites anyone who sees it to interpret it on the fly. Root word plus "ist" - how common a formula is that, anyway?

I guess what I object to about the use of the word fundamentalist in the media is that I feel it is used by people who do not believe in God to imply that people who believe in the fundamental beliefs of their faith are generally out killing and persecuting people. I have never seen a reference Mother Theresa that called her a fundamentalist, although all she did was motivated by her fundamentalist faith. Fundamentalist beliefs are not necessarily evil, they can be good and charitable, but they always seem to be referred to as evil in the media. Even the usage of the word by people in this thread seems to me to be entirely negative.


I think to a certain extent you are seeing what you want to see in "the media". There are plenty of instances in which the word is used in a neutral way, too, to identify people who see themselves as fundamentalists.

But here is something to think about: people use the term in everyday life, and often enough, it is in negative ways based on their own experiences and observations. And that is not something "the media" made up, nor is it necessarily a result of some prejudice.

The one person I know who is the most scathing on the subject of the "fundies", as he calls them, is a Christian.
Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/17/12 12:49 AM
I would not expect any religious organization to change their way of doing anything for the belief of any non believer or for fear of offending someone. It is their church, their property and their right to do as they wish while that person is in their building. In the same way our government separates church verses state, taking away religious freedom as they see fit in their buildings, taking away prayer in the public school systems, the religious organization has the same rights to do as they wish on their premises. Prayer being a part of it. Calvin is no different here.

In some way or another the school invites or allows, whoever plays there. Whether that be through Gilmore or some other venue.

Posted By: wr Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/17/12 02:45 AM
Originally Posted by Jerry Groot RPT
I would not expect any religious organization to change their way of doing anything for the belief of any non believer or for fear of offending someone. It is their church, their property and their right to do as they wish while that person is in their building. In the same way our government separates church verses state, taking away religious freedom as they see fit in their buildings, taking away prayer in the public school systems, the religious organization has the same rights to do as they wish on their premises. Prayer being a part of it. Calvin is no different here.

In some way or another the school invites or allows, whoever plays there. Whether that be through Gilmore or some other venue.



Gilmore isn't a venue, the school is.

Anyway, if the issue were anything as cut-and-dried as you seem to think it it, this thread would never have been started. As it is, it is one of the longer ones in recent memory.

Posted By: Ferdinand Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/17/12 03:05 AM
Originally Posted by Jerry Groot RPT
I would not expect any religious organization to change their way of doing anything for the belief of any non believer or for fear of offending someone. It is their church, their property and their right to do as they wish while that person is in their building. In the same way our government separates church verses state, taking away religious freedom as they see fit in their buildings, taking away prayer in the public school systems, the religious organization has the same rights to do as they wish on their premises. Prayer being a part of it. Calvin is no different here.

In some way or another the school invites or allows, whoever plays there. Whether that be through Gilmore or some other venue.


I don't believe anyone on this thread contested the organization's legal right to have prayers said. Rather, it's a question of etiquette.
Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/17/12 03:52 AM
Keeps you active anyway, doesn't it? smile

Etiquette smettique. wink People were complaining here and there about being offended. Thus my post about their rights too. smile
Posted By: antony Re: Would it Matter to You? - 05/17/12 05:05 AM
Originally Posted by lostaccato
Originally Posted by polyphasicpianist
Originally Posted by lostaccato
You can't judge the existence of higher existence by the religious books man has created. Men naturally have bias, anger, jealousy, etc - and also good traits too. BUT, the negative actions due to "God" on this planet are not due to god, but to human thinking alone. What if there was no religion? Would there be no violence? Hint hint.. there still would be. People would find excuses for it, whatever they may be.


I am in total agreement with everything you say here. But you simply cannot ignore the fact that a huge amount of violence and unreason are derived and motivated explicitly from supposedly "sacred" texts. I concede that in a world free of religion there would still be violence, but I don't concede that the violence would be equal to the levels we currently see. If people all of a sudden put down their Bibles and Korans and began studying the works of Plato, Confucius, Hume, Bentham, ect. I find it hard to believe that the violence we see in the world would not be greatly diminished.

To quote Sam Harris again:
“I know of no society in human history that ever suffered because its people became too desirous of evidence in support
of their core beliefs.”



I am in agreement. Even though there would be less violence without religion, the "sacred texts" are still man's own writing and creation - and shouldn't be used to judge 'god' at all, only man. Philosophers, myself included, look at religion and religious books to be the most juvenile, sorry excuse for evidence of god there is.

I don't know if you missed it or you're ignoring it - but I replied to you way up there^^^^^ the one with the " grin " at the end. Do you mind taking a look at that and giving me your thoughts? smile


This is absurd. Religious texts are supposed to be the word of god. Do you think man has a problem with dictation? What other evidence are we to have than the texts that are supposed to express his wishes, wants and desires, his plan?
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